Grambling, Simsboro gets grant

The village of Simsboro for the first time has received a Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) for the fiscal year 2009-2010 in the amount of $ 275,256.00. The new grant is for a 12-month period effective Nov. 1 through Oct. 31, 2010.
The Village of Simsboro and Grambling State University will share a grant to help people in the area.
GSU and Simsboro faculty personnel received the funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Rural Housing Service designed to provide housing renovation assistance to low residents in Lincoln Parish.
The Federal Government will make available a total of $134,398.00, while the city of Simsboro will provide $92,473 with $48,385 from private sources.
According to Dr. Benedict Nwokolo, professor and endowed chair of Construction Engineering Technology at Grambling State, the village of Simsboro and GSU administration understand the need to remove health hazard elements.
Some of those hazards associated with the dilapidated single-family housing units belong to low income citizens of the target area.
Nwokolo is the project director and said Grambling State University.
He has been instrumental in securing renovations and financial assistance in the amount of more than $700,000 for the low income residents of its surrounding community between September 2003 and January 2009.
Nwokolo said during that time, 27 single-family housing units were renovated / reconstructed for the impoverished area residents of Grambling.
Dr. Nwokolo stated that both the village of Simsboro and Grambling State University have a mission designed to improve the living conditions of their respective citizens.
Mayor Willie Hendricks of Simsboro has been particularly pleased with this financial award.
According to Hendricks, the grant could not have come at a better time when a number of Simsboro’s low/very low-income are in dire need of financial assistance .
They need help maintaining single-family housing units and removing health hazard elements from units infested with lead.
Hendricks added that he is pleased to work with Grambling State University in order to ensure that the project is executed in accordance with funding agency’s provisions.
According to Dr. Nwokolo, the new grant is expected to cover the renovation of at least 10 single-family housing units.
Low/very low-income single-family homeowners of Simsboro and Grambling area residents needing housing renovations are urged to go to the Simsboro City Hall and complete an application
Applicants are expected to attach some evidence of income and home ownership in their application packages. Contact Dr. Nwokolo at 318-274-2716 for details.