The Northern Marianas Housing Corp. has hired 12 staff to oversee the CNMI’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery grant that was approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last Oct. 16.
NMHC deputy director Zennie Mafnas said they are looking at hiring even more staff to have a complete team of 45 employees to run of CBDG-DR grant. Right now, NMHC already has 40 staff but they attend to regular block grants, home loan programs, and their other programs.
As for the funding source for the new hires, Mafnas stated that 7% of the grant to pay for the 45 staff will come from the CDBG-DR program. This totals $16,042,165 of $243,946,000 that was allotted to the CNMI.
Speaking at the Rotary Club of Saipan’s Tuesday meeting at the Hyatt Regency’s ballroom yesterday, Wilfred Camacho, who is under NMHC’s CBDG-DR team, stated that they are looking at between now and the end of January to do public outreach and education on what is needed to apply for the grant.
NMHC announced last Oct. 16 that U.S. HUD approved the CNMI’s action plan that will help fix infrastructure, houses, buildings, etc., after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu and Typhoon Mangkhut, and that the CNMI was awarded $1,090,630 under the Emergency Solutions Grants Program of U.S. HUD last July 19, 2020.
According to Camacho, they are expected to build approximately 20 to 30 newly-built homes using the grant.
In a previous statement, Palacios said that 25% of the entire ESG grant will be set aside for the elderly and disabled, while 6% of the entire allocation will be for Rota and Tinian.
ESG Financial Assistance, for qualified and approved applicants, will be for one year and includes 100% rental assistance, security deposit, utility deposit and utility allowance, for up to six months in arrears.