Published Thu, Nov 6, 2008 12:00 AM
By NATHAN GILLngill@beaufortgazette.com843-986-5532
The Beaufort Redevelopment Commission hopes that a state grant application could snowball into more affordable housing for Beaufort.
But members haven't figured out the particulars, they just know that the application is due today.
At its Thursday meeting, the commission decided to apply for $500,000 through South Carolina's Housing Action Partnership Program, which helps finance mixed-use housing developments. If the grant is approved, the commission is considering a partnership with the Beaufort Housing Authority.
However, neither group knows exactly what the money would be spent on, should they decide to accept the grant. Commission members wanted to complete a more thorough review of the grant's terms before accepting any money, and said the program originally had advertised an erroneous submission date, Nov. 17.
The Barner Group is preparing the grant application for the commission.
"Basically, what we are trying to do ... is to try to apply for $500,000," Barner Group owner Reggie Barner said. "We don't want to lose the opportunity to get this money."
The commission is considering using half the money, $250,000, to buy vacant lots in Beaufort in areas in need of redevelopment. Then, it would apply for a chunk of a $44 million federal grant available through the South Carolina Housing Finance and Development Authority.
That money, in turn, would be used to build single-family homes for low-income and working families.
"We know it's coming and we know it's an opportunity for us," said James Bellew, a commission member, of applying for federal money. "We're laying the foundation with this initial grant."
The other $250,000 would go to the housing authority, which is considering buying land in the Roseida area near the Marine Corps Air Station for future development.
"Everything is preliminary," said housing authority member Ed Boyd. "We've approved the application, but we haven't approved a project."
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