MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - A federal grant is helping low to moderate-income families in Marshall, Illinois. It'll allow them to get their houses remodeled and brought up to code. Local officials behind this grant say they need help to get the word out about this opportunity.
It may sound too good to be true, but community development block housing grants are very real. It’s administered by the state of Illinois. Coles County Regional Planning and Development Commission is overseeing the grant distribution. They apply for these grants every year for different communities within their region.
Grant Manager Kevin McReynolds says many people are skeptical. "One of the biggest problems with this program is getting people to believe it's real," he said, "It's because there are so many scams out there."
Coles County Regional Planning is currently remodeling homes in Charleston, Martinsville, Windsor, and Marshall. Marshall's zoning officer Joel Sims says this is a great opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity for Marshall and for the residents,” Sims said, “What it does is it just improves your house either energy efficiently or just aesthetically.”
Each house chosen is awarded up to $50,000. Repairs include roofing, siding, windows, drywall, bathrooms. plumbing, and more. Rentals cannot be chosen, only homes that are owned can. No money is put up by the homeowners.
Qualifications are based on income. If you make less than 80% of your county’s median income, you’re eligible.
Sims says five houses have already been chosen and construction starts later in January. Applications are still being taken and five more houses will be chosen to remodel. “People definitely need to get their applications turned in as soon as they can and hopefully we can start the next round in June,” Sims said.
Construction for the five houses already selected should finish up by March. You can apply for this grant opportunity on Coles County Regional Planning’s website here.