July 28, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
68°F
test

Lorain housing efforts receive $490K

LORAIN — Residents and nonprofit organizations will soon benefit from nearly $500,000 in federal stimulus funding for homelessness prevention in Lorain.

City Council voted unanimously Monday night during a special meeting to contract with the Nord Center and Lorain County Community Action Agency to award each $244,650 so the funds can be disbursed to nonprofit organizations and individual residents.

The Nord Center will be giving the grant money to nonprofit groups that provide services dealing with homelessness and re-housing issues, Service Director Robert Gilchrist said.

The LCCAA will use its $244,650 to fund a program working one-on-one with people to keep them in their homes and provide education so they don’t end up in financial trouble again.

“We’ll be distributing to residents who meet the income qualifications who are in immediate danger of homelessness,” said LCCAA Director of Housing Diana Morrero-Pinto. “We also intend to help them with credit counseling and improve their financial literacy.”

LCCAA recipients will be eligible for anything from up to three months rent assistance and security deposits if they are Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority tenants to moving expenses, Morrero-Pinto said.

“We look forward to getting started,” she said.

Councilman Tim Howard, D-3rd Ward, said getting these funds is a “hurrah” for Lorain.

“The (state) has cut funding to a lot of the nonprofits,” Howard said. “Homelessness isn’t going away. The lack of jobs and with businesses moving away, people need rent and mortgage help and help with their utilities.”

Morrero-Pinto said she couldn’t estimate how many individuals could be helped because of the wide range of financial aid available, but said LCCAA is “looking forward to getting started” with the program.

Awardees must spend their money within 36 months or lose it.

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.