Vicksburg, county join for home repair effort

Published 10:53 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have signed an agreement with the Warren County Board of Supervisors allowing the city’s housing department to implement a program to repair and renovate homes in and outside the city limits.

Both boards approved the agreement Monday.

The city is applying for a $160,000 special needs grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas to provide $40,000 each to the city’s for banks to help fund home improvement projects such as roof repair, plumbing, electrical work or other projects for elderly and disabled residents living in their own homes.

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City housing director Gertrude Young said the funds are being made available through the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages local banks to get involved in improving their communities. She said the city is applying for the grant in December and will learn if it is approved in January. If approved, the program will allow $5,000 per home for renovation.

Young said the city has applied for the grant three times before and been approved.

She said the reason county homes were included was word of the program reached county residents in need of help.

“We had so many residents in the county come into the city asking for help, and local banks would like to help, they asked to share in the program so they could help their customers who live outside the city limits,” she said. “We get so many calls, it hurts me to keep telling people no. This is one community; not just the city but the whole of Warren County.

“That’s why we needed the interlocal agreement, so city employees could go out into the county,” she said, adding city building inspectors will do pre-inspections before work begins, and inspect the work after it is completed.

“Before, we couldn’t go outside the city limits. Now we have the authority to proceed.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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