Housing authority receives grant, loan for new van

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

FRANKLIN—Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority has received federal stimulus money to purchase a handicapped-accessible van.

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., announced last week that the housing authority will receive a $17,690 loan and $21,610 grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The housing authority is among more than $18 million worth of stimulus funding for rural communities in Virginia through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Community Facilities Program.

Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority Executive Director Sheryl Frazier said the van would allow the authority to transport people to life skills classes and training sessions. It also will be used to transport for residents in wheelchairs who need to attend appointments.

The life skills program teaches skills that bridge the gap between under- and unemployed residents’ current abilities and what they need to get better jobs and improve their lives.

“Where our life skills program used to support people in the age group from 19 to 30, now we have people in that program who are in their 50s who may not be able to step up into the vehicle,” Frazier said, also pointing out that several of the authority’s units are for handicapped residents.

“So we will be using that van to transport them as well,” she said.

This isn’t the authority’s first time dealing with Rural Development.

“We’ve worked extensively to create partnerships within the community, and we’ve partnered in the past with Rural Development to assist homeowners with repairs,” she said.

Frazier said the authority is looking for a van and has six months from the time the money is obligated to purchase it.