MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Commissioners this week approved the authorization of what county Administrator Jason Booth said is a highly popular program aimed at providing home repair funds and homeowner rehabilitation funds in the city of Mount Vernon and the county at large.
The commissioners’ action, as it does every two years, authorizes the formation of a partnership between the city and the county, with the city acting as the official grantee, or fiscal administrator, for the 2020 Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP). The city and county both use the services of a grant consultant, Amy Schocken, to administer the program, with a deadline for the CHIP grant application being June 24.
According to the terms of the commissioners’ resolution, the city of Mount Vernon will apply for a total of $750,000 in Program Year 2020 CHIP funding, The amount would be based on $400,000 for Knox County, and $350,000 for the city. The city will actively market the CHIP program to potential clients and assist them with applications. A certain amount of the CHIP funds are set aside for Habitat for Humanity housing projects.
The funds would allow a total of 15 homeowner repair projects for up to $15,000 each. Seven of the repair projects would be for Mount Vernon, and eight for Knox County applicants.
There would also be a total of eight projects involving the more-involved homeowner rehabilitation projects, with the city and county both receiving four projects for homeowners. They receive home rehab funds totaling $46,000 each.
Booth said the home rehabilitation projects are similar to taking out a mortgage, with specific guidelines that must be followed. If followed properly, the loans are fully forgivable.