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City taking applications for home rehab program
Estimates funds enough to cover repair costs for approximately 6 homeowners
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The City of Hinesville is accepting applications through the end of the month for a home owner- occupied rehabilitation program.

The program is used to make necessary repairs to applicant’s homes to make sure it meets minimum property requirements. Repairs typically include such as improvements installation of energy efficient windows, HVAC upgrades and roof repairs.

Assistance is made available to low- to moderate- income households located within the city limits. Projects are selected based on application date, financial needs and severity of living conditions.

The city will contract with a rehab adviser, who has the expertise to identify what needs improvement at the homes. The rehab adviser also provides a cost estimate, City Manager Kenneth Howard said.

Howard said there is funding for about six projects. The rehab efforts generally cost around $40,000-$50,000 each, he told city council members.

“We have $300,000 available, so we’ll probably limit it to about six applications,” he said.

The city staff will follow up with applicants and makes sure all the information is complete.

“We identify those areas within the homes that need repairs,” Howard said. “We conduct a work writeup, work needed to be completed for that unit.”

A homeowner may have one issue, but the rehab adviser still will assess the home in its entirety, Howard pointed out. Since the funds are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are minimum property standards, Howard said.

“We have to send a rehab adviser to look at the entire home and then identify if there are any other deficiencies to be included in the work write-up,” he said. “We can’t go in and do just that alone. We have to bring it up to minimum property standards.”

The city will go through the request for proposals process, which typically takes about 30 days, to have contractors bid on the work.

“We try to do as many as we can at the same time,” Howard said.

The state Department of Community Affairs also has to approve the contractors, Howard added.

Once the work begins, it is coordinated with the city’s inspections department. The rehab adviser, who has insight on life safety and code compliance issues, Howard said, also goes out with the inspections department to look at the work being done.

“We have two set of eyes with a level of expertise to make sure those contractors are doing what they are supposed to do,” Howard said.

Applications are being taken Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m.4:30 p.m., at the city’s community development department, or online at the city’s community development department website.

City council also ratified submission of a continuum of care grant resolution to help alleviate the homeless problem. The ratification seeks funding for the rapid rehousing program, which aims to assist homeless and families in securing housing.

The city is requesting $124,000 under the grant program, and the funding will provide rental assistance, support of services and cover administrative costs.

There is a 25% match, which the city intends to meet with both cash and in-kind services, said Kiara Williams. In all, if the grant is awarded, that would mean about $156,000 toward the project.

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