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Homeowner Rehabilitation Program accepts pre-screen applications

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Tuesday morning people lined up at the Jackie Dole Sherill Community Center to apply for the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program.

The program will provide home improvements for people who cannot afford it themselves.

Petra Wingo, manager of the Community Development Division of Hattiesburg Urban Development, said it was created to help people who need it the most.

“This is critical to our community,” Wingo said. “The individuals that we assist are not in a position financially, in most cases, to maintain their home.”

Wingo said the program is first come, first serve. There is a $60,000 budget for each home chosen, but their goal is to help as many people as possible.

“We receive funding from HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] annually, and we use those grant dollars to assist residents here in Hattiesburg with home repairs and rehab,” Wingo said.

Wingo also wants everyone to know that applying for the program does not guarantee you’ll receive funding.

“Pre-application does not guarantee assistance because a lot of times people think that just because they turn the paperwork in that they’re going to receive the assistance,” Wingo said. “This is just the first step. This is pretty much saying to me, ‘I am interested, and I need help.’ Now we’re going to go to the next phase.”

Mingo said the next phase includes a verification process of all applicants, making sure they meet the requirements.

Taurean Easterling was there Tuesday supporting his mom, who applied because her house needs a major foundation repair.

“The floor set apart from each other, so the whole foundation is split in half down the hallway of the house,” Easterling said.

Easterling just wants her to be comfortable in her own home.

“Help her heart feel comfortable living in where she’s been living for 30-plus years, and also it’ll help her out for wintertime so it won’t be as cold in her house,” Easterling said.

For more information on the Homeowners Rehabilitation Program, you can call he Community Development Division at 601-554-1006.

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