Homes grants sought

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

Jeff Bauer hopes to hear within the next week from about 30 homeowners immediately south of Allen County Hospital who might be interested in upgrading their homes.
Bauer, Iola’s code enforcement officer, is in the process of applying for a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission. Funds would go to qualifying homeowners for home-improvement projects.
In order to apply for the grant, the city must have in hand several pre-applications from affected homeowners.
Bauer was unsure of the number of pre-applications needed, “but I know we need more than this,” he said. “We only have two.”
Letters were mailed earlier this month to all residents who lived on the east side of the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of South First Street, on the west side of the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of South Second Street and all houses in between. Bauer estimated 30 homes were in that area.
“Part of the pre-application process is to ensure we’ve targeted the correct area,” Bauer said.
If approved, homeowners could receive grants of up to $20,000 each for new roofs, insulation, climate control systems or structural repairs. The program is similar to those used to repair housing in other parts of Iola’s southeast quadrant, Bauer said.
Bauer will begin calling the residences.
“We just want to get the word out that this may be available,” Bauer said.
The city’s application for the CDBG — which requires the residents’ pre-application forms — is due July 31.