EDEN, N.C. — The City of Eden received a $750,000 Community Development Block grant that will help qualified homeowners make needed home repairs.
“I am really excited about it,” said Kelly Stultz, Eden’s Planning and Inspections Director. “We’ve had scattered site money in the past and money focused on other areas, but this is the first time we had funds solely focused on this mill village,.”
The mill village in the Draper community of Eden was built around a textile mill. As the village ages, so do its owners. Some are no longer able to make repairs.
“We live on social security,” homeowner William Raines said. “What little money we have left, we can’t afford to do anything to our house, property, anything.”
Another homeowner in the Draper mill village agreed with Raines and said the $750,000 federal grant is needed.
“I am poor, and I can’t afford to do it. And a lot of people around here need it and can’t get the help,” the homeowner said.
Stultz said the Planning and Inspections Department is in the process of putting together a committee that will accept and review assistance applications.
The committee will consider items like the homeowner’s age, income and whether or not they are disabled.
While the grant focuses on homeowners in the Draper community, Stultz believes the grant will benefit everyone in Eden.
“So we are hoping this will be a spark that will help the individuals but will help others feel it is worth it to spend their own funds on their homes,” Stultz said.
Stultz has another reason to be excited about the grant.
She points to a picture of herself. She is being held by her grandfather, standing in front of a home in Draper.
“That is where I rode my bicycle when I was eight,” Stultz said. “My grandmother use to send me to pay her bills. It was and is the perfect example of the walkable community.”
In the future, there’s a chance the grant could be used to expand sidewalks in the mill village.
But the main goal of the $750,000 Community Development Block grant is to help homeowners fix their homes.
Stultz is hoping the committee will be ready to take and review assistance applications in about a month.