Franklin City Council adopts rehabilitation program design

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Members of the Franklin City Council approved the program design for the Madison Street Revitalization project last Monday.

The document outlines the eligibility requirements to receive funds for rehabilitating properties in and around the Madison Street neighborhood. The money was allocated to the City of Franklin in February, thanks to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Community Development Block Grant. The project aims to provide decent, safe, sanitary and affordable housing in a suitable neighborhood living environment.

The program will provide funds for 20 owner-occupied homes and 10 investor-owned homes for housing rehabilitation to improve structural deficiencies and poor drainage, as well as improving the sewer system in the neighborhood.

Applicants must meet the requirements based on the beneficiary household’s income, individuals’ term of residency or ownership of the property, rent affordability and feasibility of the property to be rehabilitated. They will typically receive no more than $35,000. More money can be allocated if a home needs more work, listed in the program design with such as exceptions as: additional bathrooms; water and sewer connections; handicapped accessibility improvements; additional bedrooms for large families; flood proofing; and asbestos removal and disposal.

“If a home needs more work, it can be done under the grant as outlined. If the home needs substantial rehabilitation they can receive up to $75,000 depending on guidelines set out in the Program Design,” said Beth Lewis, the Franklin-Southampton deputy director of community development and project support for the revitalization project.

The City will solicit bids from contractors, accepting the lowest bid for each project. Property owners will be expected to cover the deficit if the cost of the rehabilitation goes over the allotted $35,000.

Participants in the program must participate in home maintenance education workshops following the completion of the construction. The workshops will teach day-to-day use and routine maintenance of the newly provided facilities, housekeeping and household budgeting. There are no exemptions to this requirement. If a participant is unable to come to the regularly scheduled workshops, the training shall be offered at the homeowner’s residence.

With the program design in place, program administrators are ready to begin work on individual homes as soon as the necessary paperwork is sent in by a qualified applicant, according to Lewis.

Those who think they may be eligible for the program can find a copy of the program design with the full list of requirements and criteria at under the link titled “July 25, 2015 Final Agenda.”

Call Randy Martin, Franklin’s city manager and certifying officer of the project at 562-8561 for more information.

Correction: The article should have stated that property owners who take part in the project must pay for it themselves if they want something done that is outside of the grand guidelines. We apologize for this error.