KENT — Kent Affordable Housing got the OK to apply for a grant to sustain and ensure the future of one of the town’s affordable housing complexes.

With the approval of the town’s treasurer, Barbara Herbst, the Board of Selectmen voted during its special Jan. 2 meeting to support the organization in applying for a federal grant of no more than $1.2 million for the South Common apartment complex.

“This complex is now 15 years old. We have maintained it well and we don’t have a great deal of deferred maintenance — and the point of this grant is to make sure that 15 or 20 years from now, we don’t have deferred maintenance,” said Virginia Bush-Suttman, president of Kent Affordable Housing.

Bush-Suttman approached the Board of Selectmen about submitting the federal grant application for the 24-unit affordable housing complex on South Commons Road last month.

South Common has been beneficial to “both residents and the town as a whole” over the years, Bush-Suttman said, but there are now concerns about the building’s future.

“Since 2018, we have been concerned about replacements and upgrades that will be needed … at South Common for the next 15 to 20 years,” she said.

Bush-Suttman said a capital needs assessment revealed at least $1 million worth of repairs and upgrades are needed at the complex.

“We will do everything in our power to sustain the property, but we need the funds,” she said.

To cover the cost, Kent Affordable Housing wants to submit an application to the U.S. Department of Housing for a grant through its Community Development Block Grant program, which provides federally-funding on a formula basis to more than 1,000 local and state governments each year.

The grant application is due in April, according to Bush-Suttman.

“The operating budget for this proposal … includes about $30,000 for administrative purposes, but about $15,000 is due before the funds are received to pay for that administrator,” she told the Board of Selectmen last month.

Bush-Suttman said Kent Affordable Housing has offered to cover the $15,000 cost for a grant-writer.

After looking into the grant requirements, Herbst said she gave Kent Affordable Housing the go-ahead seek the Board of Selectmen’s approval to go ahead with applying for the grant.

Herbst said would be additional costs associated with the grant — including a federal single audit that could take two to three years and additional record-keeping in the treasurer’s office.

The federal audit would cost between $1,500 and $2,000 a year, Herbst said.

Bush-Suttman said she is unsure if the grant would include money for the audit.