BOWLING GREEN, Mo. -- Low-income residents in a dozen Northeast Missouri counties may qualify for up to $22,500 in home-rehabilitation funding through a program offered by the North East Community Action Corporation.
NECAC President and CEO Don Patrick announced Thursday that the not-for-profit agency has received a $340,000 grant to continue assisting families through the Missouri Housing Development Commission's HERO program.
The HERO program -- offered by NECAC for more than 10 years -- helps low-income individuals and families pay for major renovations to their homes. For example, the program will pay for such things as roof replacements, siding, electrical and plumbing work and disabled accessibility projects.
Carla Potts, NECAC's deputy director for housing development, said the program will provide up to $22,500 per home if an applicant meets the low-income guidelines.
"This is sizeable funding," Potts said.
One stipulation to receive funding is that everything in the home must be brought up to code -- not just a single project that needs attention.
"A lot of times it takes that much money" to bring everything up to code, Potts said.
As part of the application process, the home must be inspected to determine what items need to be brought up to code. NECAC will then determine if, and when, the homeowner will receive funding, depending on how much money remains available.
The funds get allocated quickly each year, Potts said.
"We already have a waiting list," she said. "But if you're out there and you know your home needs a lot of repairs, this is a good program to apply for."
Potts said in some cases a home might need more than $22,500 in repairs to bring everything up to code. In that situation, she said, NECAC might be able to "piggyback" funds from other programs "if it's within reason."
She said the home rehab program is a vital resource for many low-income residents who otherwise couldn't afford to make the repairs needed.
"If you're on Social Security or you're working at a minimum-wage job -- or a little above -- the odds are you're going to quality for this program," she said. "I always say if you're not sure you qualify, that's when you need to talk to us."
Anyone interested should stop at any NECAC county service center and apply for the HERO program. The program is available in Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, St. Charles, Shelby and Warren counties.