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Oswego Renaissance Association accepting Pre-Applications for Challenge Block Grants.

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The Oswego Renaissance Association (ORA) is excepting Pre-Applications for their “Challenge Block Grants”. These are $100.00-$1000.00 matching grants per homeowner to clusters of homeowners for exterior renovations in targeted neighborhoods throughout the city of Oswego.

To see if your home qualifies visit their webpage; www.oswegonyonline.com and look at the map of the targeted neighborhoods. If your home falls in or very close (within a block or two) you need to enlist a minimum of 4 of your neighbors to participate and fill out a simple Pre-Application Form. Once you submit your neighborhood Pre-Application and it is reviewed you will receive a more detailed Application. This Application will require more coordination with your participating neighbors. Once it is filled out and submitted it will be review by an independent review panel and the winners will be announced.

A minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 homes can be on one application. Applications along with instructions can be downloaded from the ORA website; www.oswegonyonline.com.

The “Challenge Block Grant” is a matching grant which means that the ORA Grant will cover half of the homeowner’s investment minus any sale tax. Sales tax cannot be reimbursed. A homeowner who invests $1000.00 total on a project would be reimbursed half or $500.00; likewise a homeowner who invests $2000.00 total into a project would be reimbursed half or $1000.00. A homeowner who invests more than $2,000.00 total on a project would reimbursed the maximum $1,000.00 award. A before and after pictures is required along with copies of all receipts attributed to the homeowners project must be submitted once the work it completed. All work for the 2014 Challenge Block Grants must be completed by October 31, 2014. Once the work is completed, the before and after pictures and all receipts submitted homeowners will receive their matching reimbursement check in approximately 4 weeks.

The ORA has $100,000.00 to invest with local homeowners this year. Grant Applications will be judged by a 3 person independent panel and are completive. Most likely, not every application will be approved. Grants are available to owner occupied as well as rentals. Grants are tied to a physical location/address so it is possible for someone who owns more than one home/rental to qualify for more than one grant.

The closer the clusters are grouped and the larger the number of participants the more competitive the application becomes. Clusters that can be geographically “linked” with other participating clusters in your area become even more competitive. And clusters that develop a strategic plan for their neighborhood’s continued revitalization in the future will be the most competitive.

Challenge Block Grant Pre-Applications must be submitted prior to April 30, 2014. For more information visit the ORA website at www.oswegonyonline.com.

Contact Steven Phillips / SCPhillips315@hotmail.com / 315/439-2040 for more information.

Article written by Steven Phillips of the Oswego Renaissance Association

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