By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
Three Commerce families are receiving brand new free homes this year, thanks to a recurring grant the city has been in for years.
The grant, from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, is designed to help improve neighborhoods by demolishing old houses to rebuild new ones in the $60,000 to $65,000 price range.
Commerce City Manager Marc Clayton said the grant does not have to be matched by the city.
“It doesn’t cost us anything,” he said. “These are brand new homes built at no charge to the city.”
According to Clayton, the city has been able to construct between 20 and 25 homes in the time it has been a part of it.
With the application process to get a new home from the grant, Clayton said the people who are given new homes earned it.
“These are well deserving people who get the new homes,” he said.
Another grant that is seeing the light of day is the Safe Routes to School grant.
The $454,000 grant, fully funded by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), will be used to construct sidewalks on both sides of Culver Street from Monre Street to Commerce Middle, Commerce Elementary and A.C. Williams Elementary Schools.
Clayton said that the project was in the works two years ago, but has been delayed two to three times.
According to Clayton, it should be on track to begin construction by the fall of 2013.