County, Xenia team up to earn grant money

By Scott Halasz -

XENIA — Greene County was recently awarded a $400,000 grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency to rehab, repair and construct affordable housing from low-income residents and the bulk of that will likely stay in Xenia.

It’s an annual program and in the past, nearly 70 percent of aided homeowners were from Xenia according to City Manager Brent Merriman. Community Development Coordinator Ryan Baker, anticipates around that same percentage with this round.

“We’re constantly taking (initial) applications,” Baker said. “There’s quite a few that have shown interest.”

The Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) grant was applied for jointly and the city will contribute $71,000 — which is coming from previous grant programs — while the county will add $57,000 to the total.

According to a release from the ODSA, the money will help rehabilitate eight owner-occupied homes, repair 13 owner-occupied homes, and include a fair housing component.

“Those are the outcome goals,” Baker said. “Sometimes you can do more than that.”

Baker said it will likely be early 2020 before full applications are accepted and the county will ultimately decide where the money goes.

In all, the ODSA awarded more than $21 million to 31 communities.

“This funding helps improve the affordable housing stock across Ohio,” Governor Mike DeWine said in the ODSA release. “It’s important that Ohioans have access to safe housing and resources to help with homeownership.”

Of the $400,000, $160,000 comes from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, while $240,000 comes from the federal HOME Investment Partnership program.

“Working with our local communities, we’re updating homes and improving the quality of life for residents in these communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

By Scott Halasz

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.