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East Spencer to renovate 10 homes with state grant

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — A $750,000 Community Development Block Grant will allow the town of East Spencer to renovate 10 homes.

Included in the town’s 2021-22 budget is nearly $2 million in CBDG funds from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, with about $1.9 million dedicated to infrastructure projects and $750,000 for the revitalization of local homes.

The town received word it would be granted the funds in December 2019. Town Administrator Michael Douglas, who began his tenure in June, said a total of 22 homeowners submitted applications to receive renovations and repairs in 2020. A committee that included Mayor Barbara Mallett, town aldermen and some community members selected 10 of those homes, including 513 and 809 Shaver St., 431 Robinson Road, 921 N. Long St., 425 Royal St., 403 and 603 Division Avenue East, 440 Heiligtown Road, 227 Hall St., and 409 Southern St.

Douglas said committee members used a housing score sheet and other criteria to make the selections. Homeowners also had to submit income verification information to remain on the list.

The grant will provide for repairs to roofs, windows, doors, foundations and floors. The town has hired Cary-based WithersRavenel, a civil engineering firm, to conduct the repairs. Douglas said the town is in the process of submitting a request for release of funds from the program and can begin the projects once the money is received.

Douglas said the revitalization projects will help homeowners get their houses up to code and in better shape.

“The opportunity for residents is phenomenal because residents will have their homes renovated at no cost,” Douglas said. “I think anytime we make homes looks better and safer for residents, that’s a plus. That increases the property value of the surrounding homes as well as the home being done itself.”

Douglas also said he anticipates a housing boom in the town based on the recent level of interest from investors and developers inquiring about available property.

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