A $400,000 grant awarded to the City of Miami will bring infrastructure to 20 new building sites, according to city administration.

The Disaster Relief Community Development Block Grant awarded through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce was announced Wednesday.

The city's Department of Community and Economic Development will coordinate the building of 20 new homes outside of the floodplain - giving first priority for home purchase to qualified homebuyers who lost homes during the July flood.

The city will seek bids from builders to construct the homes. The new homes will be 1,257 square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes with two-car garages.

“This program represents an on-going effort by the City of Miami to develop affordable housing outside of the floodplain and at the same time better disasterproof the City of Miami from future flooding, Miami City Manager Michael Spurgeon said. Miami lost nearly 119 homes in the summer flood.

Spurgeon said the grant is part of a comprehensive home rebuilding program initiated by the City of Miami. Recently, the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency awarded the City an $180,000, 1-percent loan to be used to construct new homes.

Additionally, the city recently has applied for a $119,000 grant from the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency and a $100,000 Affordable Housing Program Grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka.

The new loan programs will be used to provide down payment assistance to homebuyers so that working families will be better able to afford the homes, according to Larry Eller, the city's community develoment coordinator.

City development directors are working with tax credit developers to construct 68 new rental units and with private developers to develop a new 120-lot residential subdivision.

“Miami is rebuilding after a devastating summer of flooding, Mayor Brent Brassfield said. “The community is rebounding from the disaster and, in the long-term, we will be stronger and more disaster resistant as a result of the rebuilding effort. The city looks forward to working with the private sector in this community rebuilding effort.