Habitat for Humanity of Smith County receives over $300K federal grant

Habitat for Humanity of Smith County receives over $300K federal grant
(Source: Habitat for Humanity of Smith County)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Habitat for Humanity of Smith County has received a $327,312.00 Housing Preservation Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for critical home repairs for rural East Texans.

“This is one of the largest grants we have received in our 30-year history,” said Jack Wilson, Habitat for Humanity of Smith County CEO. “We are elated that the USDA is partnering with Habitat in our critical repair program.”

The USDA grant will be used to repair 30 homes in rural Smith, Anderson, Henderson, Rusk, Van Zandt, Wood, and Cherokee counties. Renovations will assist low-income homeowners in making their homes accessible, healthy, and safe. Critical home repairs can include new roofs, plumbing, foundation cracks, unstable floors, energy-efficient doors and windows, hot water tanks, HVAC, and more.

Jerry Russell, a Navy veteran, who resides in Van Zandt County, will be one of the first homes Habitat will assist with the USDA grant. “I can’t thank Habitat enough. This is a miracle from God. My wife and I have health issues and the ceiling is caving in with insulation floating around our house, the roof leaks and we look forward to having several of the safety issues addressed.”

The funds will be leveraged with the $250,000.00 grant Habitat received this summer from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans' Assistance.

“When we have multiple grants from different sources, we can combine them and make a bigger impact on someone’s home,” said Raimund Gideon, Habitat’s Director of Construction.

Individuals who apply must meet the grant’s criteria for assistance. A few of the requirements include:

· You must be living in the home and claim it as your primary residence.

· You must own the home.

· Home must be a pier and beam or on a slab.

· Property taxes must be current

“In east Texas, the houses are there but a lot of the houses are just in terrible deterioration and these individuals are low income, they’re elderly, or they have disabilities and they don’t have the means to take care of the repairs for themselves,” Gideon said.

Detailed information is available at smithcountyhabitat.org under Rehabitat. Or applicants can call 903-595-6630 to ask questions and have a packet mailed to them.

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