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Fountain Inn to use federal grants for affordable housing, business improvements

  • Updated
Fountain Inn City Hall - Feb. 2021

Fountain Inn's North Main Street, with City Hall in the background. Fountain Inn, S.C.

Fountain Inn plans to use roughly $168,000 in federal funding for multiple projects throughout the city to benefit low- and mid-income residents. 

The projects include the construction of affordable housing, façade improvement grants for local business owners, removing blight and rehabbing rental properties, according to a resolution passed by City Council.

About $119,000 of the funding is coming from the Community Development Block Grants program, a federal initiative aimed at improving urban areas by expanding access to suitable housing and employment. The other $49,000 is coming from the Home Investment Partnership Program, a grant provider run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with state and local agencies, to fund affordable housing options.

Fountain Inn receives the funding annually and the amount is based on its population.

City Council unanimously approved the plan for spending the money at a meeting Feb. 11.

City Administrator Shawn Bell said the city has not received the money yet and its allotment could change, so the plan passed by council isn't set in stone. 

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As it stands now, about $49,000 of the funding would be used to construct affordable housing in the Sanctified Hill community, a low-income neighborhood on the Laurens County side of Fountain Inn. Just under $58,000 would be used to renovate rental properties in the city.

Another $20,000 would be used for economic development loans and $11,000 would be made available to business owners to update and improve their storefronts.

"In the last month or so, several business owners in our downtown, central business district have inquired about those façade improvement grants," Bell said.

The city will also set aside $20,000 to demolish blighted buildings and $10,000 for "public service activities."

Follow Conor Hughes on Twitter at @ConorJHughes.

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