Grant letters in the mail

Minot and Ward County homeowners who received state flood recovery grants will receive letters next month with instructions on how to claim supplemental assistance announced by the state last week.

Recipients of Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention grants will receive letters shortly after June 15 from the Souris Valley Long Term Recovery Office, said director Connie Philipenko.

Philipenko said her office has received a number of calls about the additional grant money, but she is urging people to wait for the letters. It is not necessary to contact the office to reapply for the new grants.

In many cases, residents will need only to respond to the letters to verify their status. In some instances, residents who submitted limited receipts with their first application will have to provide additional receipts to qualify for the additional assistance. Details will be in the letter.

Previous grant recipients who do not receive a letter by June 21 should contact the Long Term Recovery Office. People whose addresses have changed should contact the office before June 15 to update the information on file.

The supplemental grants are available only to previous recipients, but money through the build and retain program remains available to first-time applicants. The application deadline for an initial grant is May 31. Grants are income based. Eligibility standards can be found online at (www.svunitedway.com) under the Souris Valley Long Term Recovery section. Those who apply and are found eligible will be entitled to the supplemental grants as well.

Applications are available online or by calling 838-1338, Monday through Wednesday between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Housing Rehabilitation and Citizen Retention Grant program had included $10 million to help homeowners cover the costs of repairing flood-damaged homes or buying mobile homes. The Office of the Adjutant General awarded nearly $8 million last year to help residents in Minot and Ward County. The program also assisted other flood-impacted counties and Spirit Lake Nation.

State officials recently approved the transfer of $1.2 million in unspent funds in other counties to Minot and Ward County to provide supplemental grants to about 600 previous recipients who remain eligible.

“We need it here in Minot. A lot of the people we gave money to, we could have given a lot more to and they would have been eligible,” Philipenko said.

The level of additional assistance will vary but is expected to be about half the amount of the original grant. The average grant in the original program was about $4,600.