ADA — Pontotoc County Commissioners say they are proud of the HOMES program to provide homes to low-income families through a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant they received.

“We have been fortunate enough to receive this grant for the fourth time,” said Winford Wood, county commissioner. Funding of $228,200 for the 2007 HOMES project, plus $9,125 for administration, is to be administered by Southern Oklahoma Development Association. Pontotoc County has agreed to provide local matching funds of $57,424 in the form of in-kind services. The county is now taking applications from qualified candidates from any rural area in Pontotoc county.

HUD requires applicants to live in a rural area, which excludes only those that live within the Ada city limits. Other towns within the county qualify because the populations fall below the 5,000 person limit. Cutoff date for receiving applications at the county commissioner’s office on the second floor of Pontotoc County Courthouse is Oct. 13.

To qualify for the program, applicants must meet HUD income guidelines and have owned their own home for over one year. The home must be in substandard condition and meet a significant need for rehabilitation. An applicant for a home must provide a recorded warranty deed on the property, the real estate record from the county assessor’s office, their most recent tax return records, proof of all sources of income and proof of residency.

Homeowners Linda Yates, Sue Hazlitt, Anthony and Betty Pelts and Bessie Fair are now at home in their new residences built with grant funds. Commissioners said they have made it their goal to house four families with each grant and are pleased with the results from the projects finished in 2006.

“We just really appreciated the Pelts family working so hard at their property. They removed some of their outbuildings and the place looks great. It’s a joy to work with families that are proud of their new homes,” said Lahoma Young, commissioners secretary.

An approved applicant living in a permanent structure has a new home, and those applicants living in a mobile home have a doublewide manufactured home replacement. The old structures are demolished and removed by the county.

The county agrees to provide demolition services, lead-based paint removal, waived permit fees, site work, water and sewer lines and tap fees, footing and slab preparation, drainage ditches and driveway tinhorns and clean-up as their in-kind matching for the project.

Of the amount committed by the county, $12,000 is in the form of volunteer hours donated. The county must maintain records of all major appliances and their warranties along with all other documentation required for HUD inspection.

For more information on the program, contact the county commissioners’ office at (580) 332-8977.

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