HAMMOND | The city will launch a search for new contractors for a popular home rehab program in February.
At least two contractors have had to drop out of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, prompting the Hammond Redevelopment Commission to approve new contractors for a number of projects.
The city plans to send out a request for qualifications to seek new contractors early next year, said Phil Taillon, executive director of the city's department of planning and development.
“You always want to have a good number of contractors to choose from so you are getting the lowest, most quality bids on the houses,” Taillon said.
Contractors are required to go through a pre-qualification process and meet certain standards to bid on work at the homes.
When the two contractors dropped out of the program, redevelopment commissioners authorized the work to go to the second lowest bidder, Taillon said.
“We want to build up a list of contractors again,” Taillon said.
Taillon said the RFQ will be advertised publicly and open to any contractor interested in submitting his information.
Dennis Radowski, who coordinates the program, has told The Times that NSP protects city assets by bringing up property values in neighborhoods where home rehabs take place.
The city first received funding to undertake the rehabs from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2008 with a $3.8 million grant. Last year, an additional $1.24 million was received to concentrate on projects in the city's 4th District, Taillon said.
Funding will be used in the 4th District because the city was required to spend the federal dollars in an area hit hardest by foreclosures, Taillon said.