Friday, March 9, 2012


Judith Smart, Director of the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP), and Darris Shaw and Destiny Edmonds of Neighborhood Housing Services, joined 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts in her office to conduct a lottery to select initial participants in a $200,000 TIF-NIP Home Improvement Program. Included in the lottery were names of West Side property owners who filled out applications for the grants. To be eligible to receive grants, applicants must live in single family, one-, two-, three-, or four-unit buildings located within the Austin TIF district. Thirteen names were drawn by Ald. Mitts to share the $200,000, plus two for a waiting list, in case lottery winners are ineligible to participate. People whose names were selected must undergo investigations ensuring they do not owe the city money in the forms of parking tickets, water bills, etc. If they do have such debts, they will be given the opportunity to work out payment plans. If they cannot agree on a payment plan, their names are removed from the eligibility list and an alternate is selected from the waiting list. The money may be used for most types of exterior building improvements and repairs. Owners of single-family residences can obtain grants up to $12,500. Owners of 2-unit buildings can receive up to $17,500; 3-units, up to $20,000; and 4 units, up to $22,500.

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