Cornelius amends Poole Place Habitat grant
by Staff Writer
by Brian Carlton
CORNELIUS – The completion of a Habitat neighborhood is now attainable.
It will take four more houses, instead of 20, to complete the terms of the grant for Poole Place.
In 2006, the town of Cornelius and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Regional Housing Consortium applied for a federal grant. The $670,000 purchased property and materials in the Poole Place neighborhood as part of a Habitat for Humanity project.
The original contract called for 46 homes to be built, but meeting that requirement has proved problematic. Currently the neighborhood has 26 homes completed.
“Due to the recent economy, even Habitat has seen a slowdown in the buildout of homes and revenue,” Cornelius Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant said.
Cornelius town board members unanimously amended the contract, dropping the required number of homes from 46 to 30 during their Monday, April 2, meeting. Both the Consortium and the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development agreed to the amendment last month.
With the amendment comes a deadline. All 30 homes have to be finished by Dec. 31, 2012 or the town and the Consortium must refund the money.
Grant told council members it shouldn’t be a problem to meet that deadline, as plans are in the works for each of the final four homes.
“One of those homes has been constructed, another home construction has already started, and Habitat expects (it) to be finished and closed out by July,” Grant said.
Families have been selected for the final two homes, and Davidson Methodist Church will sponsor them, Grant said. Construction will start on those final two homes in May, with things finished by September.
Habitat still plans to eventually finish all of the original 46 homes, Grant said, but with the current state of the economy, it’s unclear when those final 16 will be completed.