The city of Durand recently announced its Neighborhood Blight Elimination Program (NBEP), which is intended to assist low and moderate income homeowners with needed exterior home repairs. The program is targeting homes in the city’s south side neighborhood for the inaugural iteration of this program. This includes all single-family residences located south of Main Street and within the city of Durand boundaries. Homeowners can request assistance up to $1,500 per property. Projects in excess of $1,500 will require a matching commitment from the homeowner.

   In order to qualify for NBEP funding assistance, the applicant, property and project must meet certain eligibility requirements as defined below. To be considered an “Eligible Applicant,” the applicant must meet the following guidelines:

• Household income must be at or below 120 percent of area median income (AMI): A one-person household will qualify for the program with an annual income not exceeding $47,400. The maximum annual income is $54,150 for a two-person household, $60,900 for a three-person household, $67,700 for a four-person household, $73,100 for a five-person household, $78,500 for a six-person household, $83,900 for a seven-person household and $89,350 for an eight-person household.

• Applicants may not be in default to the city of Durand.

• Homeowners must agree to participate in a no-cost energy audit.

• Homeowners must complete all program application materials.

• Homeowner must have clear title in applicant’s name.

• Properties subject to a land contract are eligible provided that the property owner and homeowner both sign an approval letter.

   To be considered an “Eligible Property,” the property must meet the following guidelines:

• The property must be a single-family, owner occupied unit in the identified target area.

• The property may not be a manufactured or mobile home.

• The property must exhibit some existing need such as an outstanding building code violation or civil infraction, including a warning notice of such issue.

• The property may not be subject to a foreclosure proceedings.

   To be considered an “Eligible Project,” the project must meet the following guidelines:

• The minimum level of assistance through the program will be $100 and the maximum amount shall be $1,500 for any one property.

• For projects in excess of $600, a licensed contractor must be used; smaller projects may be awarded directly to the homeowner or a handyman as a reimbursement grant.

• The project must meet all applicable building and zoning ordinances, and if necessary, contractors must follow required permitting and inspection requirements.

• Not all projects will require a building permit but all projects will require a final inspection to certify the work is satisfactorily completed.

• Projects involving the removal of lead-based paint or asbestos must meet state and federal safety compliance standards for removal and remediation.

• Applicants must notify the city manager in writing of any change in ownership or occupancy status before final inspection of the project.

   The following are examples of eligible projects. This list is not inclusive and homeowners are encouraged to contract Durand City Hall to discuss if their project might be eligible:

• Tuckpointing

• Any exterior painting

• Repair or replacement of siding

• Repair or installation of stairs or ramps

• Repair of existing fencing

• Repair or replacement of roofs

• Repair or replacement of awnings

• Repair of any exterior household elements

• Any repairs, other than explicitly ineligible activities, which resolve an outstanding building code or civil infraction

• Repair or replacement of exterior lighting

• Installation of any exterior energy efficiency measures

• Repair or replacement of doors or windows (provided they are not stand-alone projects)

   The following are examples of ineligible costs:

• Junk or rubbish removal

• Removal or junk vehicles

• Any interior repairs, remodeling, or improvements

• Landscaping (not including any restoration directly resulting from an approved activity)

   In order to be considered for funding, homeowners must submit a Neighborhood Blight Elimination Program application with all required supporting documents, including two quotes and pictures of the project area. Quotes should be good for at least a period of 60 days to allow for sufficient processing time of the grant application.

   If the project cost is expected to be greater than the funding maximum, homeowners must commit to paying the difference. Project costs in excess of $1,500 may be due directly to the contractor from the homeowner, at no liability to the city, and incurred at the homeowner’s own expense. Payment liability for such excess expenses will be detailed in the Homeowner and Contractor Agreement.

   Once submitted, the city of Durand shall review applications for completeness and inform any applicants using the contact information provided if their submission is incomplete. Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis.

Durand Introduces Neighborhood Blight Elimination Program was last modified: August 12th, 2019 by Karen Elford