PILOT POINT — A state housing improvement program can help residents in Pilot Point improve their homes if the structures are distressed and present a health hazard.
The city has renewed its participation in the Single Family Reservation System program to assist lower-income families while simultaneously improving the appearance of the city.
The program, run by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, is designed to improve housing and reduce unsafe living conditions through replacement of substandard homes with new site-built homes.
City staff members said there were a few hiccups with the program in the past, citing complications with completing a home for a resident, but officials say they believe the program can still be helpful in the future.
To help avoid problems, the city plans to hire a consultant, officials said.
The consultant will handle all the application intakes and deal directly with the homeowners, City Manager Tom Adams said.
Staff officials said the home program, when managed well, is a great way to improve some residential housing in the community.
Staff members said that improved homes could also lift city property tax values as lower-value homes are replaced.
A spokeswoman for the state’s housing department said approximately $40 million is allocated annually for the program for cities across the state. She said 5 percent of that is allocated to people with disabilities.
City officials met with a team of city planning experts in February, and one area the team said needed improvement was identifying ways to rehabilitate housing.
“We listened to hundreds of stakeholders in the community,” said Todd Scott, one of the experts and a Seattle-based architect.
Scott said many residents mentioned that housing rehabilitation wasn’t a huge issue in Pilot Point, but it is a concern.
There’s no cost associated with the program, but applicant cities must commit least $80,000, which is reimbursed by the state.
For more information about the Single Family Reservation System Program, visit the state’s housing department website at http://www.tdhca.state.tx.u s.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.