Covington Commission Approves Mortgage Assistance Program, BIA’s Heritage Trades and More

Ryan Clark
NKyTribune Reporter

Last December, the city used U.S. Relief Plans Act funds to create “buckets,” or categories, where the funds could be best used.

Now those buckets are filling up.

The most recent is the ARPA-funded Mortgage Assistance Program Plan, which uses $500,000 to help potential homebuyers purchase mortgage interest or qualifying eligible homes. The owner must pay the down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a occupied or vacant home. Census tract, or QCT.

ARPA funds have always been earmarked for helping homebuyers, but now city officials think they’ve come up with a better way to help. If approved, ARPA Mortgage Assistance will provide up to $15,000 in grants to help families buy homes, with a cost cap of $350,000.

City officials said at a Covington Commission meeting this week that the program will run in a similar fashion to the HOME Down Payment Assistance and CDBG Home Repair Programs. The objective is to increase the number of homeowners in QCTs, defined as city census districts where 51% of the population earns less than 65% of the regional median income.

According to the city, qualifications include:

• Income: There is no income limit for homeowners participating in the program.

• credit: The program has no credit score requirements. The borrower’s credit is reviewed by the lender in order to obtain a mortgage loan.

• Loan underwriting: The program has no specific loan underwriting requirements. The city will review the terms of the borrower’s mortgage financing to ensure the loan is not predatory in nature. Mortgage interest rates and fees are reviewed and compared to current industry standards.

Interested buyers apply online here.

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer wondered if $15,000 would be enough given today’s high costs.

Community Development Manager Jeremy Wallace said: “But most lenders have to offer a 3-5 percent down payment, especially when buying in these regions. to $350,000, you should be able to lower the rate by a few points, since 1 point is 1% of the purchase price of the loan amount, you can lower the interest rate by a few points. But if you can buy a few points down and use the rest for the down payment and closing costs, it should be enough to get you into those price ranges.”

The proposal was placed on the consent agenda of the next meeting.

Heritage trading program

The Commissioner was asked to approve a co-recipient agreement with the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky for tuition and fees associated with 1515 Madison Avenue and building stabilization costs. inheritance trading.

The city previously secured $250,000 in ARPA funding to support the development of the new Covington Academy of Heritage Trade. As a co-recipient, Northern Kentucky Building Industry will deploy funds to stabilize the building and cover tuition and equipment costs for Covington residents enrolled in the employee training program.

The Commissioner put this request on the consent agenda for the next meeting.

gateway work

The Commissioner heard a request for $69,500 for a contract with Emerging Designs LLC to provide the design for the Covington Gateway of the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

In 2019, the city’s Department of Economic Development hired Garner Economics to complete a strategic plan. One of the recommendations was to improve the gateway to town. This includes new signage, landscaping and beautification efforts.

The city then solicited input from the community to determine which gateways were most important. Two of them stand out, the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge being one of them.

Emersion Design’s submission was selected as the winning bidder. The design process will be completed within four months, with 50% of each funding coming from the General Fund and the Economic Development Fund.

The Commissioner has issued a request with the consent of the next meeting.

doghouse text fix

The commissioner heard a proposal to amend the neighborhood development code to add kennels as a conditional use to the limited industrial area.

The Neighborhood Development Code’s Limited Industry (LI) district was developed for “low to moderate impact warehousing, wholesale, and manufacturing uses,” city documents said. “This district covers much of the Covington railroad adjacent area. It is suitable for the area and is therefore permitted to operate within this district.”

The Commissioner put this request on the consent agenda of the next meeting.

Port Authority Camera Grant

The Covington Police Department has been approved for a $157,180 grant from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program. But this requires a match from the city ($52,393), which is a budget expenditure.

The funds will be used to expand the Riverfront Commons Cameras program westward, “from Madison Landing to just east of the existing Brent Spence Bridge.” “This adds 18 of his cameras along Covington’s Riverfront Commons hiking and biking trails.”

This request was placed on the consent agenda for the next meeting.

iPad Technology Pilot Program

Commissioner hears proposal for approval of ARPA funds to be used in contract with Covington Independent Public School District, conducts pilot program with JE
Biggs families are “implementing and measuring the impact of city-provided iPads and early literacy applications on the readiness of participating children for kindergarten,” the city document said. .

This program will use $73,334 for Read Ready Covington’s “iPad Technology Pilot Program” to be used by the Covington Independent Public School District for up to three consecutive years. This project will monitor the impact of a city-provided iPad and early literacy application on her two classes of 4-year-olds and their families at JE Biggs Preschool.

The school district will provide technical and educational support and the program will begin as soon as the technology arrives.

The Commissioner will put this proposal on the consent agenda of the next meeting.


The Commissioner heard the following proposed promotions:
• James Johnson, Stormwater Management Worker


The commissioner heard the proposed employment:
• Code Enforcement Manager, Joseph Meimann
• Allyson Schaeffer, Code Enforcement Inspector
• Hillary Williams, Recreation Program Coordinator


The commissioner heard the proposed resignation:
• Angela Amberger, Tax Auditor
• Devyn Harris, Police Officer


The Commissioner heard the next reappointment proposal.
• Pamela Mullins, Human Rights Commission
• Omar Gray, Code Enforcement Hearings
• Rebecca Weber, Architectural Review and Development Board
• Matthew Roetting, Audit Committee

And the following appointments:
• Sheree Weichold, Alcoholic Beverage Control Manager
• Kathleen Summe, Linden Grove Cemetery Board of Supervisors

No meeting next week

There will be no meeting next week due to election day.

next meeting

The next regular meeting of the Covington Commission will be the legislative session on November 15th at 6:00 pm at City Hall at 20 W. Pike St. in Covington. The conference can be followed live on Fioptics channel 815, Spectrum channel 203, Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) website, TBNK Facebook page @TBNKonline, and TBNK Roku channel.

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