Kenner to hold lottery for money to fix 10 blighted homes _lowres

Photo provide by The City of Kenner -- The interior of the vacant house at 50 Grenada Drive was visible as work crews tore it down last month. Kenner has been working to to reduce the number of blighted homes, most recently with a federally funded lottery that will provide grant money to 10 owners of blighted property.

Kenner homeowners who are violating the city’s housing code can enter a lottery this month that could net them as much as $60,000 to fix up their blighted home.

On Oct. 23, the city’s Community Development Department will randomly choose 10 applicants for the grant program, which is funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To qualify, a home must be the primary residence of the owner, who must have full ownership of the home with a clear title.

Only single-family, detached homes will be considered, and there must be some type of current condition that prevents the property from meeting safety or other local code regulations, the city said in a news release.

Applicants’ total household income must be must be at or below 50 percent of the median income as defined by HUD. A family of four, for example, cannot have a household income above $29,400 in order to qualify, the city said.

The city has stepped up its efforts to combat blight in recent months, scoring a recent victory when it tore down a home in the Driftwood Park subdivision that had been vexing the code department for almost two decades.

“This is a fabulous program offered by HUD that can very quickly have a real impact on blight in Kenner,” Mayor Michael Yenni said in a written statement. “Homes must have significant impairments to qualify, and repairing 10 homes in that condition will be great for those families and those neighborhoods.”

“We have many homeowners with limited resources who are trying as hard as they can but are fighting a losing battle against deteriorating conditions in their homes,” said Arleeta Terrell, director of the Community Development Department.

The application process opened Thursday; the deadline to apply is Oct. 17.

Instructions and an application form can be found on the Kenner website, www.kenner.la.us.

Completed applications, along with all necessary documents, must be sent to the Community Development Department, 624 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70062.

For questions about the housing lottery, call the Community Development Department at (504) 468-7588.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.