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Hopes for a $550,000 federal grant to rehab Macomb homes

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MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- Macomb officials hope to get a federal grant to fix up homes in low to moderate income neighborhoods in the city. They're working on completing the application for the grant to turn this hope into a reality.

Eason Bishop is a single father who has been living in this home for about five years. He said five of his windows were shot at with a BB-gun and hasn't gotten it fixed.

"As doubled paneled windows $137 dollars a piece," The bad thing is that's my child's room. So four of those windows were my child's room."

Helping people like Bishop, who live in the northeast side of Macomb, is why Western Illinois Regional Council grant writers are applying for a $550-thousand grant through the state's Community Development Block Grant program.

Housing Programs Manager Royal White said the city is in dire need of a program like this to rehabilitate homes and prevent them from getting worse.

"In rural areas like we live in it's cheaper to buy a house than to rent, but then you own the house and you have no money to do the needed repairs," White said.

The goal is to eliminate health and safety hazards, code violations and improve the housing stock.

"So, we do a lot of things like rewiring houses, make sure the plumbing is up to code, we replace a lot of roofs. We sometimes do siding," White said.

He said the grant program helps people who can't physically or financially get the work done by themselves.

"We do have a lot of senior elderly people who can't get out and work on their own house."

White says there are some qualifications for the program to get approved for the grant.

You must live in their targeted area, be a homeowner with a low to moderate income,and live in the home that need repairs.

They're aiming for people who are elderly or disabled, but that's not a requirement.

Here's more information:
White said they'll submit the application by August 3rd.

He said the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will then review all applications submitted before allocating the money.

He said it could be early next year before they know if they're approved.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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