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September 25, 2018

Port City’s Plan To Assist Home Improvements Moves Forward

OSWEGO – At Monday night’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, Mayor Billy Barlow requested consideration by the Common Council in approving the Office of Economic Development to prepare and submit a grant application for $500,000 to the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation for the Oswego Home Improvement Program.

Mayor Billy Barlow addresses the committee Monday night. At right is Community Development Director Justin Rudgick.

Mayor Billy Barlow addresses the committee Monday night. At right is Community Development Director Justin Rudgick.

This program will provide financial assistance to existing owner-occupied one- to four-unit family homes, the mayor explained.

It is designed to help those up to 130 percent of the area median income. The AMI for for Oswego County is $68,000.

“A family of four that makes $74,528 or less would be eligible to participate in this home improvement program if the grant is successfully awarded,” Barlow said Monday night.

According to the mayor, the goal is to provide financial assistance to up to 40 homes to do small home improvement projects such as replacing a furnace or hot water heater, or update their electrical panel to larger projects like replacing a roofs, windows and siding.

Eligible homeowners would be required to leverage their own financial resources to leverage the grant.

Potential homeowners could borrow funds from a bank or through their own financial contributions; but there will be flexibility to assist homeowners who may need more grant funding because of economic needs, such as seniors on limited incomes.

The funding opportunity to provide home improvement opportunities in the Port City ties into the mayor’s recent State of the City address in improving the quality of life in the city, especiall into the Oswego LIFT poverty reduction initiative in providing financial assistance to help improve the condition of the homes in the community.

In 2016, the city of Oswego was the recipient of a $500,000 New York State Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative grant as a way to help localities find ways to address poverty in their community.

“I appointed a committee identified by the acronym “LIFT,” Learn, Identify, Focus, Transform. We want to take this funding and make resources available to not simply be a hand out subsidy to individuals in poverty, but rather be a tool to actually permanently lift them out of poverty,” Barlow said at the State of the City.

“We will use the Oswego LIFT anti-poverty initiative to further help those in our community who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction by allocating $55,000 to the Council on Alcoholism and Addictions in partnership with Farnham, to provide peer advocate services in the city of Oswego,” he added.

The committee gave the request a favorable recommendation.

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