MOREHEAD CITY — The city was recently awarded a Community Development Block Grant from the Rural Economic Development Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce to help seven families rehabilitate their homes from damage caused by Hurricane Florence in September 2018.
The city will receive $750,000 in grant funds, which come from federal sources and are administered through the NCDC’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program. North Carolina received approximately $47.9 million in CDBG funds in 2018, of which about $10 million was set aside for the Neighborhood Revitalization program.
The program is aimed at helping low- to moderate-income families, with income thresholds set by federal U.S. Housing and Urban Development standards, improve their living conditions through home repairs and rehabilitation. The application this round made special considerations for storm-affected areas, and all of Morehead City’s participating families sustained major damage to their homes during Hurricane Florence.
“We are really excited. Three-quarters of a million dollars for housing rehab obviously is really exciting, it’s going to be transformative for those seven homes,” City Manager Ryan Eggleston said of the recent notice the city was selected to receive funds.
The city submitted its application for the grant in July, at which time officials identified the seven residences to participate in the program. Mr. Eggleston said the participants’ homes were inspected and vetted at the time of the application submittal.
“The homes have been vetted, they have been surveyed in accordance with the federal guidelines, which are stringent guidelines,” Mr. Eggleston said. “We worked with a consultant company as well just to make sure all our I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed, so the identification process and surveying process has all been completed.”
Of the seven planned rehabilitation projects, three are complete rebuilds and four involve major renovations. All the homes are single-family structures in the neighborhood north of Arendell Street between 4th and 28th streets.
According to a release from the city announcing the award, there are some funding conditions which must still be met before construction can begin. If all conditions are met, construction will begin this summer.
Mr. Eggleston extended his thanks to the city’s planning department, including Planning Director Sandi Watkins and planner Mackenzie Todd, for leading the charge on securing grant funds. He also thanked the city council for their blessing in pursuing the program.
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