The St. Lawrence County Housing Council, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation serving the housing and community revitalization needs of rural communities across St. Lawrence County, New York. Organized and incorporated in 1981 by a group of concerned residents, clergy and representatives of local government, the Housing Council has worked tirelessly to meet the housing needs of St. Lawrence County’s low and moderate income population.
Since its incorporation in 1981, the Housing Council has brought more than $50 million in public and private funds to bear on the housing and community revitalization needs of rural St. Lawrence County.
This assistance is provided in three key ways:
Through the provision of direct housing assistance from the Housing Council to low and moderate-income households.
Through the provision of technical assistance, grant preparation and program administration to the County and its units of local government.
Through the provision of technical assistance, grant preparation, program administration and property management services to local not-for-profit organizations or groups interested in the development of decent and affordable housing and community facilities.
In support of the administration of the first time home buyers grant programs, the Housing Council provides home buyer education classes to approximately 360 individuals a year. These classes consist of those that are interested in applying for grant program services through the Housing Council but also those that wish to learn about the necessities of buying a first home. The Housing Council partners with local banks, the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors and local home inspectors to offer in-depth perspectives on home purchases and maintenance.
The Housing Council requires that all first time home buyer grant applicants attend a full cycle of education classes as a prerequisite to consideration for any first time home buyer grant award. The Housing Council is a chartered member of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation’s “NeighborWorks®.” The home buyer education staff has completed all required certifications from Neighborworks® America to teach their curriculum. The Housing Council is also a certified HUD Counseling Agency.
The Housing Council has been a sub-recipient for the St. Lawrence County awarded CDBG and DHAP grants for over 20 years. The Housing Council staff has successfully written and administered many State and Federal grants over the course of the last 33 years. The Housing Council has participated in the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s “Rural Preservation Program” since its incorporation. The Housing Council was a recipient of the Governor’s Empire Award for outstanding community development work. The Housing Council and St. Lawrence County Planning Office jointly received a Best Practices Award from the Governor’s Office for Small Cities for their innovative lead-based paint hazard control plan. The Housing Council was one of five RPP participants to be selected for the Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s Innovative Housing Program Award.
The Housing Council grants specialize in the provision of assistance to low and moderate income home buyers (providing specialized training, educational programs and financial assistance); and, in the preservation of the County’s housing stock through residential rehabilitation. The Housing Council has also provided many communities with facilities improvements through grant applications and subsequent administration.