The Common Council this week hired Belmont Housing to deliver services in the city’s Home Improvement Program, which is aimed at helping income-eligible homeowners get their houses “up to code.”
Homeowners can apply for up to $4,100 of assistance. The program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Brian Smith, president and CEO of Greater Lockport Development Corporation, said bids for construction will be announced once applications have been submitted, probably in late summer-early fall.
“Belmont Housing is a group that helps municipalities implement these types of programs,” Smith said. “They help review applications, make sure applicants are eligible for the program. They help put together the scope of work at the property. They oversee the contractor selection process to make sure we’re selecting the lowest responsible builder. They oversee the actual construction. They sign off on the work being done properly. They really just help us facilitate that housing rehab grant program.”
Smith said the city will begin accepting applications from homeowners at the end of May and the applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligibility is based on income and there is a “sliding scale” based on the number of people in the household. Rental property owners are not eligible.
“It’s a great program and we’re excited to have it again,” Smith said. “It is city-wide and (previously) we worked on houses in every ward.”