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U.S. Rep. Clay Announces $2 Million in Housing Grants

Missourians are no strangers to cold winters, but in some St. Louis area communities, drafty windows, leaky roofs and rotting foundations cause an even greater burden during these difficult months. For nearly 300 St. Louis area residents, $2.0 million in new affordable housing grants will assist them in making necessary home improvements – giving them a warmer, more affordable winter.

During a celebration at the J.C. Penney Conference Center, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay said, “The $2.0 million in new grants we are announcing today will help seniors and low-income families rehab their homes and stay in the neighborhoods that they love.  And I’m especially proud that the $2.0 million investment in my congressional district is being funded without spending one tax dollar.”

The Affordable Housing Program grants, awarded to five area non-profits and supported by local financial institutions, will improve living conditions for low-income families with children, disabled persons and elderly individuals. The funds are targeted to communities that have some of the oldest housing in the city. Many of the homes are in need of necessary improvements, such as new roofs or foundations.

Of the $2.0 million, $600,000 was awarded to two Missouri credit unions that will assist 70 people with home improvements this year.

St. Louis Community Credit Union and Community Action Agency of St. Louis
St. Louis Community Credit Union (St. Louis, MO) and Community Action Agency of St. Louis will use a $300,000 grant to help 40 families decrease the cost of their monthly utility bill. Eligible households will receive up to $7,500 in funds from the AHP grant to make improvements on their home and will then qualify for an additional $6,500 in weatherization funds making their home more energy efficient, healthy and safe.

First Missouri Credit Union and Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc.
A $300,000 grant sponsored by First Missouri Credit Union (St. Louis, MO) will assist in making both interior and exterior repairs to 30 homes. The grant will be leveraged with funds from St. Louis County Port Authority and Missouri Housing Trust Fund and provide up to $10,000 in assistance. Repairs include major work on roofs, plumbing and electrical systems and HVAC equipment. Smaller repairs, usually performed by volunteers, include interior painting, window caulking and concrete restoration.

The program is funded from earnings of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, a member-owned cooperative serving a five-state district that includes Missouri. Each year, the Bank sets aside 10 percent of its net income to fund projects that improve or create affordable housing.

During the most recent grant round, the Bank awarded a total of $10.2 million in grants through its member institutions. “These organizations provide vital assistance to communities throughout St. Louis,” said Dale Oberkfell, board chair, FHLB Des Moines. “Through partnerships with non-profits and our members, the FHLB Des Moines Affordable Housing Program changes the lives of people and families in need.” For a complete listing of the AHP grant recipients, please visit the Bank’s website.

Four banks received the remainder of the $2.0 million:

  • Reliance Bank, Commerce Bank and Midwest BankCentre each supported a grant that will provide Beyond Housing with $900,000 in funds to improve 75 homes in Bel-Ridge, Velda City and Vinita Park.
  • Rebuilding Together – St. Louis partnered with Heartland Bank to secure a $300,000 grant to partially fund the rehabilitation of 100 homes across the city.
  • The Office of Community Development and Heartland Bank will use a $240,000 grant to provide 30 disabled homeowners with funds to make accessibility modifications and renovations.
Top Photo:  Accepting the check from Congressman Clay are Merline Anderson, Executive Director at the Community Action Agency, Dorothy Bell, Vice President for Public Relations & Community Affairs at St. Louis Community Credit Union and Gerald Brooks, Chairman of the Board at St. Louis Community Credit Union.

Bottom Photo:  Accepting the check from Congressman Clay are Reginald Scott, Executive Director at Lemay Housing Partnership, Inc., Steve Poniewaz, Vice President of Operations at First Missouri Credit Union and Dale Oberkfell, FHLB Des Moines Board Chair