Delaware County officials hope to provide close to $100,000 in grants to assist low- to moderate-income residents improve their homes.

Delaware County officials hope to provide close to $100,000 in grants to assist low- to moderate-income residents improve their homes.

Armed with $75,000 in state grants and $25,000 generated through previous renovation efforts, the Delaware County Economic Development Department seeks to aid around eight county residents hoping to upgrade their homes.

The assistance, which will be provided throughout the remainder of the year, is available by way of the county's Community Housing Improvement Program. Each year, the program provides financial assistance to low- to moderate-income homeowners to improve the safety and function of their residences.

According to Dottie Brown, economic development specialist for Delaware County, a portion of funds from this year's program will go toward the construction of new roadways and other infrastructure for homes being constructed by Delaware County Habitat for Humanity.

The remaining funds, she said, will be divvied up in grants of up to $8,000 for county residents living outside the city of Delaware, which administers its own CHIP program.

"They have to be current on their taxes on the property," Brown said. "We don't want to go in and help somebody if they aren't going to be current on taxes or are in danger of losing their home.

"Otherwise, it's open and grants are given on a first-come, first-serve basis."

After maintaining a joint housing-improvement program with the city, Delaware County established its own CHIP program in 1999. While many variables determine who can receive assistance through the program, Brown said it's generally available to single-person households with annual incomes up to $36,600, two-person households with incomes of up to $41,800 per year, and three-person households that earn up to $47,050.

"We have $75,000 set aside to do home repairs," Brown said. "We could help a household by providing up to $8,000.

"It would have to be for something that's considered a health risk, especially like a furnace, a roof, windows or for plumbing issues."

Brown said the county already has received five inquiries for home repair assistance, and her department expects to accept additional applications throughout the year. To apply, or to receive additional information regarding the CHIP program and available funding, interested parties should contact Brown at (740) 833-2107.

"For this program right here, they do not have to pay this back," she said. "This is all grant money, which is a good deal for people.

"It's a good program, especially for elderly people and letting them stay in their homes a little while longer."

nellis@thisweeknews.com