Mount Carmel awarded $250K grant for low-income home improvements

Jeff Bobo • Oct 3, 2019 at 1:00 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted last week to adopt policies and procedures for a $250,000 Tennessee Housing Development Agency Home Grant that was awarded to make home repairs for low-income local residents.

City Manager Mike Housewright told the BMA during last Thursday’s meeting that there is no out-of pocket cost for the city, and eligibility requirements for recipients are established by the state.

“These policies and procedures are pretty much what is stipulated by THDA,” Housewright said. “We have no latitude in how we do this. Furthermore, we will not actually be administrating this grant. It comes through us, but First Tennessee Development District will actually be the one that does the legwork.”

Housewright added, “All question, all public input, will pass through the development district. Obviously we do not want to be fielding questions and having relatives contact us and say, ‘My aunt so-and-so has this need.’ They (FTDD) can be an impartial body that makes that decision based on these (policies) and not be subject to political pressure.”

Based in Johnson City, FTDD is a regional association of the local governments of Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee.

In administering this grant, the FTDD will first schedule a town hall meeting to provide information about the application process, eligibility, what services are available, outline the parameters of the program, and answer questions from the public.

Eventually there will be an application process, and recipients will be chosen by FTDD representatives based on the criteria in the policies and procedures.

Key elements of eligibility include income, household size, number of elderly in a household, disabilities within a household, number of juveniles in a household, and condition of the dwelling.

There’s a copy of the eligibility requirements available for public review at Mount Carmel City Hall.

When a town hall meeting is scheduled, it will be advertised to the public.