Tuesday, October 26, 2010

City of Newburgh Grants and Loans

A quick update on the Facade Grant and Renovation Grant/Loans: there's a stipulation to the programs that the building cannot have any code violations, meaning it must be habitable and up to code in order to qualify for the grants. Unfortunately, Eddie's house doesn't have windows or plumbing/heating, therefore it is not up to code and not habitable.

Eddie's trying to make the argument that the combination of his own money, his own efforts and the city grants would allow him to fix the building and make it habitable. It's an uphill battle, though, and although the city officials seemed to be helpful at first, they have not returned his subsequent phone calls or emails. Sigh.

Anyway, it's a shame because the house is on a crucial corner and its occupancy could change the whole outlook of the neighborhood it's in. We attended the Newburgh Heights Association meeting last week, even though we don't live in the Heights, and they echoed the same sentiment that Eddie voiced to the City of Newburgh in an appeal letter - that every house makes a difference. Each abandoned or boarded-up property devalues the surrounding area and only perpetuates the cycle of crime, lowered neighborhood pride, and lower rates of owner-occupied housing.

It would be great to start up a Montgomery-Grand-Liberty Association, where there are lots of beautiful historic homes that need to be remembered and advocated for. And there are a lot of people already in the neighborhood who take care of their own properties, who I imagine wouldn't be opposed to expending energy on making sure other properties are taken care of.

Since we haven't done anything with the house in a while, we were shamed into taking some action...so, maybe this weekend we'll do some landscaping in the front yard.


  1. It was so great to see you guys at the NHA meeting, seriously. I don't think anyone was wondering why you came (even though you live in THE FLATS!), and you're more than welcome in the future. If it inspires you to start up a M/G/L Association, that's awesome!!

    You already know how I feel, but seriously...this situation with the facade grants is just soooo discouraging. Sigh.

    We're doing a neighborhood walk on Halloween Sunday (midday) if you're interested in joining us. Likewise, give me a ring if you want a hand with cleanup/landscaping at the house! I did notice that everything at Adam's is 50% off right now. ;)

  2. A M/G/L Neighborhood Association was in the works. The AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers were coordinating the effort. They held several meetings at the Library. Haven't heard much from them since spring. Not sure what City office they are working in partner with, might be Human Services. Here is a contact Sean Bennett 845-565-1213 x7015

    AmeriCorps VISTA
    Sean Bennett
    845-565-1213 x7015

  3. That is great information. I will definitely contact him. Thanks!