City of Duquesne seeks funding to begin next phase of housing project
The City of Duquesne, MO is seeking more funding to begin the next phase of construction in a housing project that aims to add 25 new home within city limits.
Alex Gandy and his wife, Beth, live in one of the four newly constructed grant homes between 24th Street and 26th Street.
Five other homes remain under construction and city officials hope more are on the way.
“Not only are you getting your own house, but you’re helping build back a community to where it once was,” Gandy said.
The Gandy’s lost their previous home in the 2011 tornado.
They say without the grant, a home of this quality would not have been affordable.
“Everything from the color of the carpet, to the color of the tile, to the sinks and the faucets, we got to pick out,” Gandy said. “It was building our own home.”
City officials say the $500,000 from a Community Development Block Grant in 2012 has now all been used up.
Those dollars cover the cost of construction for the first phase of new homes.
Officials are now working for an additional $1 million for the next phase of construction.
“They are currently taking applications for the next round,” said David Weaver, Assistant to the Mayor. “We would like to have several applications in, so once the grant is approved, we can start breaking ground.”
Weaver says the additional grant money would allow building up to 25 new houses, which he says will keep the City of Duquesne on an upward trend.
“We have come a long way since the tornado, and we have a long way to go,” Weaver said.
“It brings the community together a little bit more without the open spaces, the empty lots, the reminders,” said Lisa Daugherty, acting president for the Board of Aldermen. “It’s a great step forward.”
A step forward, the Gandy’s are grateful to have taken.
“We try to pinch ourselves because I can’t believe we live in this house, in this area, and it’s all because of a grant process,” Gandy said.
City officials expect final word on the grant funding by the beginning of next year.
Those interested in the program, can currently apply at the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council office located at the Parkwood Senior Apartments in Joplin.