CANTON The North Country Housing Council has been awarded or will administer more than $1.5 million in grants for building and housing needs in St. Lawrence County.
Its been a very good start to the year for us, said Alan S. Hipps, executive director. Thats kind of a banner year.
The Housing Council is the recipient of a $200,000 grant through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and the support of state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, that will allow it to finish the renovation of its headquarters at 19 Main St., Canton. Work on the building, which had to be gutted because of a mold problem, began in 2012 but stalled because of a lack of money.
Housing Council members also raised about $13,000 toward the renovation.
The grant will allow completion of the work, most of it interior, a classroom for home-buyer education and two upstairs apartments.
Construction could start within eight weeks.
The award includes $51,000 for Traditional Arts in Upstate New York to build a kitchen.
Its the last part of our renovation project, said TAUNY founder Varick A. Chittenden. Weve created a room for it already.
In addition to preparing meals for TAUNY events, the first-floor kitchen could be used for teaching or demonstrations, Mr. Chittenden said.
The Housing Council also successfully applied for a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant for housing rehabilitation in the town of Fowler.
In addition, St. Lawrence County will receive $620,000 in direct home ownership money that could help 25 first-time home buyers.
The Housing Council received $300,000 in state Affordable Housing funds that could benefit another 15 home buyers.