POCATELLO, Idaho - A half-million dollar grant from the Treasury Department should help Pocatello homeowners.
The Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services gets the money, which the group said will be used to help homes in the city.
The PNHS said it will help families like Zane and Charlotte Amrein of Pocatello.
Zane is a member of the National Guard studying at Idaho State University. Five months ago, the couple welcomed a baby girl, but had to take her home to a place that needed some major work.
The Amreins repaired their home with PNHS' help, "mainly for our furnace because we were pregnant and going to have her," said Charlotte. "And it was not working really well, so it was really cold in our house last winter."
Along with the furnace, the Amreins' home need a new roof, as well as a replacement for the old, and not particularly safe, electrical system.
The PNHS said the grant means many more families will get low-interest loans for needed work.
"So not only can we improve 60 homes – a lot of this is going to come back and replenish our loan fund and keep working over and over again for years to come," said Mark Dahlquist, PNHS executive director.
When someone in the area needs some residential rehab, the group said it does everything it can to help people handle the loan. The Amreins, for example, don't even have a monthly payment – the loan isn't due until they sell their home.
They said that makes a huge difference.
"It really does," said Zane. "Because being a college student and trying to support a family, you know, it's pretty difficult to do. Now we don't have to worry about anything, and our growing family will be safe."
But it just isn't good news for those needing some home improvement, said PNHS.
"Not only can we help homeowners, but we're lifting up the appearances and the community as a whole," said Dahlquist.
PNHS said it is the only organization in Idaho to get a grant like this from the Treasury Department in 2012.
You can find more information at http://www.pnhs.org/.