Clermont County to begin accepting CHIP grant applications

December 7th, 2006    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

Clermont County will begin accepting applications for Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) grants starting Dec. 15.

Started in 2004, the two-year, first come-first serve, $563,000 CHIP grant program will assist and benefit homeowners in making private rehabilitation, help homeowners with home repairs, and provide down payment assistance towards a safe, decent, and affordable home purchase for potential homeowners.

“The CHIP grant money comes from three different sources and can do three different things,” said community planning and development director Mary Werner. “Contributing are two H.U.D. sources and and a home rehabilitation development grant. Residents can apply for home repair, home rehab, or down-payment assistance towards the purchase of a new home.”

The $8,000 home repair grant can be spent on two items such as the furnace or the roof; home rehab is different in that up to $30,000 can be spent.

"In this case, we could fix all that is wrong with the house and bring some of those houses up to code," said Werner. "Through the grants we can also put a mortgage on a house. When we do this, it is what is known as a descending, forgivable mortgage."

Any households with moderate-low to very-low incomes are eligible to apply and the county is expecting many applicants this year, Werner said.

The CHIP program will offer many supportive seminars and workshops for for approved down payment assistance applicants; Clermont County has announced a home buyer's seminar for Jan. 20.

"The free educational seminar is for anyone who wants to buy a home," said Werner. "One of the things that we have noticed over the years about the CHIP program is that when people are purchasing homes, many of them are not prepared for budgeting and home repairs; oftentimes it only takes one major repair to financially devastate people."

To help avoid this, the seminar will cover many homeowner related topics such as home buying decisions, fair housing issues, budget and credit management, mortgage types, and home repair/maintenance.

As part of the CHIP grant program, the county will once again partner with Habitat For Humanity in the construction of two single-family homes.

CHIP grant applications will be available starting Dec. 15 at village and township halls throughout Clermont or by calling the Permit Central Building at (513) 732-7213.

For more information on the community seminar or the CHIP grant application program, contact Mary Werner at the Clermont County Planning and Development Office.
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