City launches infill program revitalize neighborhoods

Written on 05/22/2024

Also, city offers home improvement grants; county justice system under review

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The City of Kokomo is partnering with the Kokomo Community Development Corporation (KCDC) to turn an abundance of vacant lots and a shortage of housing into a neighborhood revitalization program.

The Kokomo Infill Program will utilize vacant lots owned or maintained by the KCDC and offer them free to developers who must sign a development agreement which requires a completed, residential structure built within one year.

Vacant lots once deemed undesirable are now sought after by developers for new residential housing. “This program incentivizes the redevelopment of underserved neighborhoods by providing desirable parcels for free,” said Andy Hardie, KCDC President. “The demand for new housing in established neighborhoods is reflected in the real estate market. The timing for launching this program couldn’t be better.”

Years ago, KCDC attempted to give away lots to adjoining property owners with mixed success. Today’s housing shortage coupled with the desirability for urban living created a redevelopment opportunity.  

“We are looking to build new, single-family homes on more than 130 lots,” said Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore. “We will finally turn decades-long, vacant eyesores into new, affordable housing for Kokomo families.”

Kokomo Infill Program guidelines and application can be found on the homepage of

The Kokomo Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization created to support and revitalize the City of Kokomo, especially low/moderate income neighborhoods.

City offers exterior home improvement grants

Eligible low-to moderate-income homeowners may apply for grants to renovate their houses in the current Community Development Block Grant target area. New roofing and gutters, vinyl siding, porch repairs, and energy-efficient windows and doors are examples of eligible improvements. Homeowner grants are in the form of 100% forgivable loans for up to $50,000.

To apply for the Kokomo Exterior Home Improvement Program, the first step is to sign the Intake Log at the Department of Development. The program offers 100% forgivable loans to qualified homeowners. Loan repayments are not required so long as the home continues to be owned, occupied, and maintained by the owner.

Names are reached on a first-come, first-served basis. Prospective applicants will be contacted for an appointment to make formal application. Those applying will need to bring:

 • A copy of their last two pay stubs, social security statements, or other proof of household income;

• A copy of their most current checking and/or saving account statements;

• A copy of their most recent federal or state income tax return;

• A copy of the deed/title to the property.

 Because the assistance is being carried out with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), certain rules and guidelines must be followed in determining whether a property and its owner qualifies.

The eligibility criteria, which will be verified by the department, are outlined below. Those with questions regarding any of the items should contact 765-456-7375, TDD 765-456-7384, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Eligible houses must be located within the program’s current target area and not lie within the 100-year floodplain. If the house has historical features and is listed in a local/state registry or the National Register of Historic Places, it may cause a project to be ineligible due to the cost of repairs and/or additional clearances required.

Applicants who have received previous housing assistance through the City of Kokomo are basically ineligible. Applicants who have received emergency assistance only, however, may still be eligible. Properties having received previous housing assistance through the City of Kokomo are basically ineligible. Properties having received emergency repair assistance only, however, may still be eligible.

Using the most current HUD CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) guidelines, total household income (from all sources) cannot exceed the low- to-moderate-income limits for the area.

The applicant must have owned and occupied the house for one year and not buying the house on contract. Property taxes must be current. No judgement liens or outstanding sewer bills / sanitation/weed cutting liens from City of Kokomo can exist on the property.

Only single-family, owner-occupied homes are eligible. Funds may be used for exterior improvements such as roof replacement, the installation of vinyl siding, exterior painting, or for the replacement of doors and windows. Limited interior repairs may be necessary to comply with federal lead-based paint guidelines.

While every attempt will be made to fund individual improvements identified by the homeowner, the City will approve the final scope of work. Funds may be limited to certain items deemed more vital to the home’s structure.

Total federal assistance to the homeowner from the city is capped at $50,000. If the initial contract amount (excluding change orders) exceeds this amount, the difference is the homeowner’s responsibility. Homeowner funds must be pre-paid by cashier’s check and will be released to the contractor upon project completion. Total cost may not exceed $50,000 without written consent from the City and agreed to by all parties.

The loan forgiveness period (mortgage/note) will be in accordance with the following schedule:

$0 - $25,000: 3 years

$25,001 - $35,000: 4 years

$35,001 - $50,000: 5 years

County justice system under review

Beginning on June 3, 2024, individuals from the United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections will be conducting interviews with various Howard County stakeholders about the Howard County Jail and Justice System. They will also review policies and practices that impact our justice system.

On June 5, from 1-3 p.m. there will be a public meeting to share the results of the Howard County Jail and Justice System assessment.

The public meeting will be held at the Howard County Administration Center 220 North Main St., Kokomo, in the basement conference room.