Community leaders will play a key role in helping secure funding for local residents facing financial challenges to make needed home repairs.
NeighborImpact has asked the city of Prineville and Crook County to join multiple other government agencies throughout Central Oregon in an agreement that paves the way for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligibility in multiple rural communities.
According to a memo provided to Prineville City Council by Andrew Spreadborough, deputy director for NeighborImpact, the agreement would "formalize support for and define the geography of a proposed regional housing rehabilitation loan program." He added that it is intended to "express the support of the region's non-metropolitan cities and counties, and it establishes the project service area," which includes the entirety of Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties outside of Bend, Redmond and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
The program would provide loans to low- and moderate-income homeowners for improvement projects. They could include lead paint abatement, septic projects and sewer connects that increase health and safety, or construction improvements to address substandard conditions such as roof replacements, siding repairs, or fixes to HVAC or electrical systems.
Spreadborough went on to note that eligible homeowners would receive low-interest loans that are often deferred, meaning they don't need to be repaid until the property is sold or transferred.
Lending programs are not new to NeighborImpact as the regional nonprofit has managed programs for 20 years for residents throughout the region. The organization has likewise received and administered CDBG grants for prior rounds of housing rehabilitation loan funds.
Prineville City Council adopted a resolution in late July that authorized a city submission of the regional housing rehabilitation grant application on behalf of the region. The application will be prepared by NeighborImpact and the nonprofit will request $400,000 in CDBG funds for the program to be available region-wide.
If it is awarded, NeighborImpact will be a "sub-recipient" of the funds and will operate the regional housing rehabilitation program on behalf of the all of entities who sign the intergovernmental agreement.
Prineville City Council agreed to join the intergovernmental Tuesday evening, joining the Deschutes and Jefferson counties, City of La Pine, City of Madras, City of Sisters and Crook County.
The push for an agreement and subsequent grant application comes at a time when NeighborImpact has a waiting list of 41 interested applicants, seven of whom live in Crook County.
This would mark the second time the City of Prineville has participated in the application process for a CDBG grant. The municipality has already helped land a grant to make more than $900,000 worth of upgrades to Prineville's Soroptimist Senior Center.
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