The City of Westfield’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, in cooperation with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) announced today that it is relaunching the Westfield Housing Improvement Program (WHIP), which provides deferred payment loans to assist qualified owner-occupants in making necessary repairs to their homes to eliminate building code violations, eliminate unsafe or unhealthy conditions, undertake accessibility modifications, improve weatherization, or undertake other necessary repairs to improve the quality of living conditions.
Funding for this program is being targeted to the downtown area. Initial funding is available for approximately 3 to 4 units. The City has included funding in its draft 2017 Action Plan to do an additional 4 units later this year.
“The WHIP Program for housing improvements is a helpful tool for income-qualified homeowners who plan to stay in their home for an extended period of time,” Mayor Brian Sullivan said.
The program initially will be limited to the neighborhoods near downtown. City officials cited the neighborhood having a higher percentage of properties in disrepair and a lower rate of homeownership than the rest of the City as the reason for this targeting.
“The statutory objectives of the CDBG program are to provide service to low-and-moderate income individuals and to address blight in our communities,” Community Development Director Peter Miller said. “We think this program can have a larger impact if we target these investments in a more compact area,” he continued.
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission will be assisting the City in the implementation of this Housing Rehabilitation Program. If interested in applying, please contact PVPC Housing Coordinator Shirley Stephens at (413) 781-6045 or SStephens@pvpc.org for a pre-application form. These forms are also available by emailing email@example.com. The deadline for submitting a pre-application for assistance is 5:00 PM Friday, April 21, 2017 at the office of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress Street, Springfield, MA 01104.
Pre-applications will be screened by the PVPC and eligible applicants will be selected in a live lottery, which will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Westfield City Hall – Room 201. This lottery will determine the order through which funding assistance would be awarded.
Additionally, the program is soliciting qualified SEPTIC DESIGNERS, SEPTIC INSTALLERS, LEAD PAINT INSPECTORS AND BUILDING CONTRACTORS.
Interested contractors/designers/inspectors who meet insurance, licensing, and other application requirements will be added to the bidders list.
CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Target Area - MapPre-application Form 2017