Lima receives grants for infill development

LIMA — The Ohio Department of Development awarded Lima $720,000 through its Welcome Home Ohio grant program, Lima Mayor Sharetta Smith announced Wednesday.

The money will go toward rehabilitating existing housing and constructing new housing on Land Bank parcels.

“Over the last couple of years, we have been intent with demolitions, and these grant funds allow us to turn the corner on revitalizing our neighborhoods,” Smith said. “Doing something with infill development is bringing housing back to the community where we’ve had to tear down blight.”

Smith said the city and the Lima Community Improvement Corporation can apply up to $30,000 for each residential property in need of rehabilitation or construction.

“We are excited that we’ve received the money, and we’re grateful to the state of Ohio for releasing this program,” she said. “We know that one of the barriers to construction and rehab is the cost and to attract developers, cities have to have more skin in the game to provide that gap.”

The program only covers affordable housing with all properties occupied for at least five years and the owner’s annual income not exceeding $67,750 for a family of four in the county.

In a press release, the mayor said the program will add 24 additional homes over the next two years.

The state of Ohio funds the Welcome Home Ohio rehab and construction program to the tune of $25 million every year with funds potentially rolling forward to the next.

Land banks, reutilization corporations and electing subdivisions are all eligible.

The program has the potential to build or rehabilitate at least 1,600 homes in two years across the state.Gov. Mike Dewine signed the bill funding the program into law in 2023.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.