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Carthage seeking support for another round of housing rehab

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CARTHAGE — The Board of Trustees has set a public hearing for 7:10 p.m. July 15 at the municipal building, 120 S. Mechanic St., to discuss housing and community development needs in the village and consider an application for Community Development Block Grant funding through the state Office of Community Renewal.

The board is considering a joint proposal with the village of West Carthage and the towns of Wilna and Champion to continue the housing rehabilitation program that began in Carthage in 2008 and continues with CDBG funding now available in all four municipalities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program provides funding to help those with low or moderate incomes make home repairs to eliminate hazardous or unhealthy conditions. The funds also aid homeowners with insulation and weatherization projects.

The 2008 CDBG allowed 19 houses to be renovated in Carthage.

The following year, West Carthage joined Carthage in the Twin Villages Housing Rehabilitation Program to aid 16 homeowners.

In 2010, the villages obtained approximately $120,000 through the North Country Home Consortium. Through the consortium, municipalities in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties could unite to seek funding. Five area homes were renovated through the program, having roofs replaced, kitchens and bathrooms updated, electrical and plumbing repaired, windows and doors replaced and siding installed.

Block grants also were obtained in 2011 for the Twin Villages, and in 2012, the program was expanded to include the two townships. Funding for the 2012 program still is available and, because of the overwhelming response, another round of funding is sought, according to John F. McHugh, the village community development director.

Housing renovation grants of up to $25,000 are available to income-eligible homeowners. Aid also is available to upgrade rental properties made available to low-income families.

Rehabilitation projects may include, but are not limited to, roofs, windows, siding, floors and foundations, electrical, heating and plumbing, as well as interior renovations to kitchens, bathrooms and other living spaces.

For more information about the housing rehabilitation grants, which are administered by the Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce, call 493-3590 or stop in the office at 120 S. Mechanic St. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up an application packet.

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