Orange County approved $43,000 worth of grants to homeowner associations on Tuesday for what are called Neighborhood Improvement Grants in an effort to spruce up communities. Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson says the grants are a great way to improve and showcase communities.
"It really just helps beautify, revitalize and improve our neighborhoods, our community from the ground up, and makes sure our neighborhoods have skin in the game too."
One of those grants was nearly a thousand dollars, awarded to the Whisper Lakes neighborhood for landscaping improvements at the corner of Whisper Lakes Boulevard and Thurston. The county gave them a thousand dollars, or 75 percent, of the project. The HOA kicked in 25 percent, or the last $300.
Commissioner Jennifer Thompson explained that the grants only go to neighborhoods that are older and sometimes the homeowner associations are not mandatory.
"These are neighborhoods that really need it, and these are projects that are unbudgeted and items that have to be part and better for the common good. They're not something that's behind the gate. They're something that the average person can be walking through the neighborhood and take advantage of it."
Subdivision walls can be repaired, or improvements to the look and feel of the exterior of a subdivision can be made, with the grant money. A subdivision or homeowners association can apply for up to $20,000, but can not receive tax money in consecutive years.