THDA to spend $1.5M patching homes

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has a new $1.5 million home repair program targeting older houses in economically challenged counties, reports the Kingsport Times-News.

Gov. Bill Haslam has agreed to commit $500,000 of Appalachian Regional Commission funding to the pilot program, while THDA will match the state’s pledge with $1 million of its own funds in order to launch the program early next year.

The program will help patch roofs, fix wiring, update plumbing, and make other repairs for Appalachian families who cannot afford to bring their homes up to code on their own, according to THDA Executive Director Ralph Perrey.

“The Appalachian region includes some areas of Tennessee that are among the most difficult for state agencies to serve despite a high number of families in need,” Perrey said in a prepared release. “It’s important to be creative in order to reach these families, and this program provides us with a unique opportunity to meet that goal.”

This is the first time the state of Tennessee has committed a portion of its ARC funding to a THDA housing program. Under the program, state dollars will be dedicated to 12 so-called “distressed” counties as identified by ARC. The $1 million in THDA funding will be allocated in these areas along with 19 other counties identified by ARC as “at risk.”

…Distressed ARC counties in Tennessee include Bledsoe, Campbell, Cocke, Fentress, Grundy, Hancock, Johnson, Lewis, Pickett, Rhea, Scott, and Van Buren.

At-Risk ARC counties include Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Grainger, Greene, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Macon, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Polk, Unicoi, Union, Warren, and White.