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Manatee County To Make $1.6 Million Available For Housing Rehabilitation

before and after photos of a home, first damaged, then restored
Manatee County Department of Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity
Manatee County Department of Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity
Before and after shots show an example of the kind of rehabilitation the Manatee County program provides homeowners.

Low-income and disabled homeowners in Manatee County can now apply for a chance to receive financial assistance for housing repairs and rehabilitation.

Manatee County has set aside $1.6 million in deferred loans for qualified homeowners to repair and rehabilitate their homes to help improve their quality of life.

Geri Lopez, director of the county’s Department of Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity, says that the program is “geared to providing low-income households with loans to be able to conduct needed code-related repairs such as roofs, windows, things of that nature.”

Assistance will be provided as a 0% interest deferred payment loan for 30 years. The maximum amount each household can receive for repairs is approximately $70,000.

However, in certain situations, homes may be entirely rebuilt.

“Now there are some cases where the home is in such dire need of repair that we may need to replace the entire home,” said Lopez. “We do have money, if that is the case, to do a replacement of the home.”

The rehabilitation and repair of homes will be carried out over the course of about a year.

Seniors will be among the main beneficiaries; many of whom, according to Lopez, are in need of support.

“They are (living) on a limited income,” said Lopez. “If they have needed repairs to their homes, then this is a way for them to access that funding. Especially now with COVID, it’s more important than ever that their home be safe and that they’re able to stay there.”

Approximately 19 households will be chosen -- but Lopez acknowledges there’s a much larger demand for financial help than they’re able to meet.

“Unfortunately, there's always more need than we have funding for,” Lopez added. “For that reason, we will be randomly drawing the order of forms.”

Entry forms are now available and will be accepted until February 19. On March 2, a drawing will be done to select recipients for aid.

Only low and very low income households will be eligible for help. Income levels are defined by the county and can be found on the program’s website.

The program will run until all funds have been committed.

I am a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News Intern for the spring 2022 semester; this is my second internship with the station.
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