Residents whose homes were destroyed in the April 16 tornado could have access to city funding for repairs.
The City Council’s Budget and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved a measure Monday to provide $400,000 for low and moderate-income residents who have exhausted all other avenues of financial assistance.
The program would have to be approved by the City Council before going into effect.
The financial aid would be used to bring houses up to the minimum code necessary to enable the owners’ return; additional rehabilitation or renovations will not be funded. Officials would conduct credit checks to ensure the home is not in foreclosure or has any other liens.
Councilman Eugene Weeks broached the issue of tornado relief at a previous council meeting. He told members of the BED committee he has spoken with residents who were not eligible for FEMA assistance even though a tree had crushed their roof.
City Manager Russell Allen could not provide an exact number of how many residents would be eligible for city assistance.
“Estimates could be 50 or so, but we really don’t know,” he said. “That opened-ended part is the concern.”
The program would draw funds from the city’s federal housing grants, which would affect other city housing programs.
“We have other programs that will be placed on hold,” said Community Development Director Michele Grant.. “Those applicants would have to wait for assistance.”