Each year, the Tulare County Resource Management Agency tries to bring as many of these dilapidated homes up to code. They can do about 12 a year. So far this year, they have a record-breaking 450 people on the waiting list to get their homes fixed.
Laurie Mercer, Resource Management Agency, says, "With the foreclosures that are going on we have had a lot more people apply or a lot people be removed fromtheir homes. We need to go out and improve our housing stock."
Mercer says many of the homes were built before 1978 and have lead in them. She says a lot of them are in violation of serious health and safety codes. The county is trying to get a grant called CalHOME from the state. It would help them fix up more of these dilapidated homes. The grant also pays for new construction of homes and would give homeowners a 30-year mortgage with 0% interest.
On Tuesday morning, the county supervisors granted permission to the Resource Management Agency to apply for a $900,000 grant. The county will provide $70,000 in administration costs for the renovations. The grant would go towards eight designated redevelopment areas in Tulare County which includes here in Orosi. Other affected areas include communities like Goshen and Ivanhoe.