PETOSKEY — Some homeowners along Petoskey’s Emmet Street corridor soon can be considered for financial assistance to help with home improvements, city manager Dan Ralley noted at Monday’s city council meeting.
Emmet County officials recently received word of their approval for a Housing Resource Fund grant, from which homeowners in designated areas could be provided funds for home improvements, such as siding, insulation, electrical and weatherization improvements — and to a modest degree, landscaping. The county sought this funding with support from city officials for use in the vicinity of Emmet Street. Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency will administer the program.
“We think this is going to be a positive project within the Emmet Street neighborhood,” said city manager Dan Ralley.
Funding to homeowners will take the form of a deferred zero-interest loan. Homeowners along Emmet Street between Mitchell Street and Standish Avenue, as well as in adjoining areas between the Bear River and Howard Street, can be considered.
As long as they continue to own and occupy a home, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency rehabilitation specialist Jonathan Scheel said funding recipients won’t be responsible for interest or principal obligations.
The maximum income to qualify varies with family size, but Scheel said it will be approximately $44,000 for a family of four.
A maximum of $35,000 can be awarded per home. With about $90,000 in matching funds from other agencies expected to be combined with the $350,000 grant award, Scheel estimates 12 to 15 homeowners can receive assistance in all.
“(The program’s focus is promoting) health, safety and living conditions of individual homeowners,” Scheel said. “But it’s also neighborhood and community improvement.”
If the program can help in boosting the neighborhood’s appearance and overall property value trend, Scheel said other owners perhaps will be encouraged to seek out other enhancements to their properties with private funding.
Homeowners now can request program applications by calling Sarah Hartman at the community action agency, (231) 347-9070. Applications will be available starting in January.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the city council completed its annual performance evaluation of Dan Ralley, discussing the matter in closed session at Ralley’s request.
Ralley ultimately received a satisfactory rating for his overall performance, as well as for each of the individual performance components considered.
“Overall, we’re extremely pleased with Dan,” mayor Bill Fraser said today, Tuesday.
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