Grant puts mother, daughter back on solid footing

Mar. 05, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Thanks to help from the Sanford-Lee County Community Development Department, a Lee County resident with severe epilepsy and her 10-year-old daughter are no longer worried about literally falling through the cracks.

The home that Tamiker Jackson shares with her daughter, Miracle, was in desperate need of repair — with several holes in the flooring and damaged electrical outlets and switches. Emergency repairs to Jackson’s home recently were completed with funds from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s Urgent Repair Housing Program, which offers financial assistance of up to $5,400 for emergency repairs for the elderly and those with low incomes, according to Community Development Manager Karen Kennedy. The grant was administrated by the local community development department.

Peggy Cotten, Jackson’s aunt, said the home improvements were extremely important to her and her niece.

“I think it was very nice,” Cotten said. “The floor was really messed up, [and] it was falling in and had holes in the floor.”

Jackson and her daughter are no longer worried about injuring themselves in their home, Cotten said, and the work was especially helpful because of their low-income status.

After the repairs were made, Kennedy said, “It was a very emotional day to go in and meet Miracle. We were able to get a few smiles.”

The department is able to provide assistance for more than a dozen homes during a typical grant cycle, usually lasting a year to a year-and-a-half, she said. However, more than 100 Lee County residents are on the waiting list to have emergency repairs made.

“It is one of our most well-received grants,” Kennedy said. “We administer that one a lot, and it directly serves the population. And it gets immediate things taken care of.”

The city and county department has submitted its application for the 2014 grant cycle, and staff members expect to hear back in late spring, Kennedy said.

Residents who wish to benefit from the rehabilitation efforts must be homeowners and meet the income eligibility. Interested parties can contact Kennedy at (919) 777-1113 for more information or to be placed on the waiting list.