One of the key elements of success to any housing rehabilitation program in the smaller rural communities is the support of the local clerk. The clerk often serves as the primary source of word-of-mouth promotion and the main point of contact for community residents to get information and application materials.
That was particularly evident in the Village of Fairmont’s program, which achieved all of its proposed goals and was completed on schedule. This was due in large part to the Village Clerk, Linda Carroll, who was a huge advocate and promoter for the program.
The Village of Fairmont (population 540) was awarded CDBG funds for an owner-occupied housing rehabilitation project. Upon completion in December 2015, the project assisted seven low-to-moderate income homeowners, two of which were elderly households, by improving their homes to meet minimum housing rehabilitation standards. The program used $185,313 in total funding on the seven homes.
Village Board members and others worked with the Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) staff, who administered and managed the program during the grant period. The housing rehabilitation program in Fairmont was able to create a positive visual impact on the community, as well as improve the quality and energy efficiency of the homes’ interiors.
The 2013 grant was so successful that community residents requested that the program continue. Linda Carroll took the lead role in working with SENDD to prepare and submit another CDBG OOR grant application in 2016. It was recently announced that the Village of Fairmont was awarded $430,625 in CDBG funding to assist approximately thirteen homeowners repair and improve their homes.
Fairmont has a bright future ahead as they continue to strive for a higher quality of life in their own town. With community members such as Linda Carroll and others like her who constantly push for the betterment of others and their towns, places like Fairmont will continue to thrive and grow.
“This grant is so important to our community. We have several elderly individuals on fixed incomes and without the CDBG funds their homes would not have had improvements made. These hard working people are very deserving of safe and sanitary housing. It is very difficult for young families to make ends meet and also keep up on home improvements, the CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Program is very beneficial for them as well,” said Linda J. Carroll, Village Clerk.