Constituent Services
Higgins, Edwards, Ahlstrom, Chautauqua Opportunities Announce Three Affordable Housing Programs in Chautauqua County to Receive $558,750 in Federal Funding
July 14, 2006
Funding for Down Payment, Closing and Rehabilitation Cost Assistance for 85 Units
Dunkirk, NY—Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced $558,750 in federal funding for Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI) and the Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC).  Higgins was joined by Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Chautauqua County Legislature Chairman Keith Ahlstrom, Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey, Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Executive Director Roberta Keller, and elected officials from Chautauqua County. 
“Chautauqua County, COI, and CHRIC have done a remarkable job advocating for our community, and as a result, tremendous housing opportunities—from ownership to rehabilitation—are available for low income families, who would otherwise be unable to afford it,” said Congressman Higgins.  “85 families will either be able to buy a house, repair a roof or rewire their house, and I look forward to seeing the tangible results that this funding will have.”
“Chautauqua Opportunities is pleased to have been awarded additional private funds that support our efforts to empower low-income families toward home ownership, thus increasing their asset development,” said Roberta Keller, Executive Director of Chautauqua Opportunities.  “We are further excited to be able to use some of these funds to blend with our other energy conservation services.  This will enable us to assist families to lower their energy consumption, lower their utility costs, and increase overall safety of housing units in Chautauqua County.”
Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI) is the project sponsor of the Chautauqua Home Ownership Program V (CHOP V) and Chautauqua Housing Rehabilitation Program IV (CHRP IV).  Of the $558,750, the CHOP V program will receive $200,000, to provide homeownership opportunities to 40 very low-income families in Chautauqua County, with the need for single-family homes with three or more bedrooms.  The CHRP IV program will receive $150,000 to renovate 20 homes occupied by very-low income families that lack the financial resources to make necessary repairs including roof repair and replacement, septic and water systems, heating systems, foundation and structural repair, electrical wiring, and energy and weatherization techniques.
Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC) is the project sponsor of Chautauqua Homeownership 2006, which will receive $208,750 of the funding.  The funding will be used to provide down payment assistance and rehab-at-closing grants for 25 very low-income households.  The eligible areas of Chautauqua County will include Dunkirk and Jamestown, which have included increasing homeownership opportunities as part of their neighborhood revitalization strategies.
COI is a private, not-for-profit, community based organization incorporated in 1965 as part of a network of 1100 Community Action Agencies formed to implement the initiatives of President Johnson's War on Poverty.  Since that time, COI has evolved in response to local needs and conditions and now has a number of economic development projects.
CHRIC is a private, not-for-profit agency that has been helping low-income residents of Chautauqua County  repair and  maintain their homes since 1978 through grants for necessary home repairs, assistance with adaptations for the elderly and disabled, and grants to help landlords make their rental properties lead-safe.
The goals of the projects are to stabilize the area and increase the rate of homeownership for low-income families by making it easier and more affordable for them to own homes. 

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