PRESS RELEASE: Funding for housing repairs available

The city of Grambling has received another Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) fund for the fiscal year 2007/2008 in the amount of $ 273,799.00. It must be recalled that for the fiscal year 2006/2007 the city received funding in the amount of $192,705.The city of Grambling and Grambling State University via its faculty personnel have received the above named funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) via its Rural Housing Service (RHS) to initiate activities that are designed to provide housing renovation assistance to low and very low-income residents of Grambling for the purpose of renovating their dilapidated single-family housing units in order for these housing units to meet the area building code. The Federal Government will make available a total of $135,028.00 while the city of Grambling will provide $93,067 with another $45,704 coming from private sources.

According to Dr. Benedict Nwokolo, Professor of Construction Engineering Technology at Grambling State University(GSU), and Project Director, the city of Grambling and GSU administration have continued to work diligently to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Grambling via the improvement of housing situation for the impoverished citizens of Grambling.

According to Nwokolo, seventeen single-family housing units have been renovated/re-constructed between September 22, 2003 to-date for the impoverished area residents of Grambling.

During the fiscal year 2003/2004 GSU with its partner, the city of Grambling, received its first Housing Preservation Grant in the amount of $189,854 and for two consecutive fiscal years 2006 -2007, a total of $ 466,504 has been received. Dr. Nwokolo went on to state that both the city of Grambling and Grambling State University have a mission that is designed to improve the living conditions of its elderly and low-income surrounding citizens via the above named housing preservation grant programs.

Dr. Nwokolo also indicated that the citizens of Grambling and Ruston have continued to receive other financial and technical assistance via the $1,173,876 grant received from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the development of various training and technical assistance programs. This particular program was targeted to the Katrina and Rita hurricane victims that are resident in Northern Louisiana. This program has been in progress since March of 2006 and will not terminate before March 8, 2008.

The city of Grambling has been particularly very pleased with the various HPG projects here in Grambling. According to Honorable Mayor, Martha W. Andrus of Grambling, the U. S. Department of Agriculture with its State’s office in Alexandria, will be making a check presentation for the current grant during the month of January of 2008. According to Dr. Nwokolo, the new grant is expected to cover the renovation of at least 8 single-family housing units of low/very low-income homeowners of Grambling area of Lincoln Parish.

Low /very low-income homeowners of Grambling area residents needing housing renovations are urged to go to the Grambling City Hall and complete an application. Applicants are expected to attach some evidence of income and home ownership in their application packages. Licensed local construction contractors are also urged to contact Dr. Nwokolo at (318)274-2716 for details relating to the bid processes relating to all the anticipated renovation/ re-construction activities of this grant.

Dr. Nwokolo can also be reached via this email address: nwokolo@gram.edu. According to Dr. Nwokolo, all applications will be processed based on the federal guideline of first come first served. The city of Grambling can also be reached at this phone number: (318)247-6120. The new grant is for a 12-month period effective October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008.