Salt Lake City launches grant program for affordable housing

SALT LAKE CITY — After renting for 40 years, the Melendez family finally has a home to call their own, thanks in large part to the Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development project.

The Melendez's new single-family home was packed Thursday at a ribbon-cutting.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski (D), along with leaders from the Community Development Corporation of Utah (CDCU) joined together for the unveiling of the home.

The city awarded the CDCU $75,000 for renovations on the home and the Melendez family more than $13,000 to help with the down payment on the home. The city was able to do this through federal grants. Private donations and other organizations also helped to make the Melendez family homeowners.

“It feels so nice to get a little piece of land in this country. And we are very excited to get this. We wait for a long time and finally we got something,” Mario Melendez said.

The home needed a lot of work, the CEO of the CDCU said.

“This home was in terrible shape. It had been contaminated with meth, it had some radon, the home was falling apart. It had to be stripped down to its very core,” Mike Akerlow said.

That is exactly what they did. Everything in the home is new, Akerlow said.

Her parents have worked very hard to get to this point, Angelica Melendez said.

“I remember there were times where my dad would work two jobs and then my mom has been working overtime lately,” she said.

The family will pay the mortgage on the home, but it will not exceed 30 percent of their income.

“We feel very happy. Our dream come true,” Melendez said.

The Melendez family xpressed their gratitude for the help they received.

Residents interested in applying for affordable housing grants can learn more information at www.slc.gov/hand. The city will be accepting applications through Nov. 3, 2019.

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