Project could bring 400 new homes to tornado zone

Assistance to build 400 homes for families still looking to rebuild after Joplin’s 2011 tornado could be on the way. It’s a project to help moderate income families and fill empty spaces left in the tornado zone.

Thanks in part to a Community Development Block Grant the City of Joplin plans to continue to help displaced families find new homes. The project seeks to provide down payment assistance and closing costs to purchase a new home to eligible families-affected by the 2011 tornado.

“Hopefully this can help regenerate, help regenerate the area and provide assistance to those families that need it,” says Troy Bolander, the City of Joplin Planning Director.

The incentive to build equity fast with low monthly payments will help advance the recovery from the tornado according to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners Gary Box who helped spearhead the project known as the Principal Reduction Plan.

“It’s giving those people a chance that maybe were homeowners, and don’t have the money presently, to rebuild or the ones that were renting,” says Box.

According to Box there are about 1,200 empty lots in the tornado destruction area but he says this new plan could change that.

“A lot of the home builders in the area that are going to be involved in this program, they’ve had a lot of people give them a call, so we anticipate once this thing goes the application process will be heavy,” says Box.

The plan seeks to help families where the replacement cost with payments and insurance higher than they were paying before. The city hopes the plan will help fill the gaps still left by the 2011 tornado.

The city council will give final approval of the project Monday night.