TUPPER LAKE - The village board agreed last week to join a rural housing group in hopes of getting more grants to support housing rehabilitation.
The village was unsuccessful in its most recent attempts to apply for grant funding for housing rehab, though it has won such grants in prior years.
Phil Smith of Avalon Associates Inc. was the contractor who has coordinated the village's applications to the state authorities that make such awards. Smith advised the board to spend $375 to join the New York State Rural Housing Coalition.
In a letter to the village, Smith said he doesn't usually advocate for private membership organizations, but he's making an exception with the coalition because it "is the only advocacy group left that can represent us effectively at the state level."
He wrote that the organization almost had to close last year when it was caught up in the state budget crunch. It was able to survive because a few municipalities were convinced to join, providing the necessary cash infusion to keep it alive.
In a pamphlet, the organization boasts opportunities for training, networking, staying informed and strengthening housing and community development proposals.
The board agreed to spend the money with little discussion, saying it could help get much-needed grant money.