Smith County Habitat for Humanity officials are seeking public comment to submit in a grant application due this summer.

HFH is applying for a Section 533 Housing Preservation Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The funds would allow the organization to expand its operations and begin to help residents in Henderson County. HFH asks that the comments be sent by July 1 to be used in the grant process.

The grant will be used to help repair homes of low to very low income families in rural Anderson, Rusk, Van Zandt. Wood and Smith Counties.

On May 14, Henderson County Commissioners Court approved a resolution in support of Smith County Habitat for Humanity receiving the grant.

"We do expect the additional funding to be spent in Henderson County," County Judge Wade McKinney said during discussion of the resolution

The organization does projects like roof replacement, bathroom repair, kitchen repair, window repair, flooring replacement and dealing with safety issues.

If the grant is approved, it will be the first time Henderson County has been a part of the Smith County HFH program.

According to the resolution, 21.9 percent of Henderson County's 82,000 residents are age 65 or older. More than 9 percent of those fall below the poverty level.

"Habitat for Humanity for Smith County is capable and willing to provide services within Henderson County," the resolution states.

With the agreement in place Smith County HFH will be able to add the population of Henderson County to its totals to improve its chances of getting the grant.

The Smith County HFH has already helped Henderson County residents on occasion. In 2017, A U.S. Marine Corps veteran in Murchison got a new roof with the help of Smith County Habitat for Humanity and Owens Corning Platinum Contractors.

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