The City of South Bend and Common Councilmember Regina Williams-Preston will hold a press conference about the Home Repair Pilot Program on Thursday, July 26 at 12:30 p.m.
The City doubled historic funding levels for home repair to $650,000. Based on prior year averages, the city hopes to help about 65 homeowners within the selected target area. To promote the City’s goal of Inclusion, the City revised select discretionary eligibility guidelines to remove barriers for residents experiencing liquid asset poverty, including deeming applicants ineligible for assistance due to past bankruptcies and other collections or judgments. The key rationale behind eligibility revisions is to provide access to more residents in need while also ensuring that the City is investing in homes that can be preserved through repair efforts.
The primary improvements made to properties prioritize safe and habitable housing for residents, including: roofs, gutters, HVAC, water heater, electrical, lead abatement and handicap accessibility. In extreme situations of evident exterior blight, and if the grant maximum allows, exterior paint and siding will be permitted for the first time toward the goal of blight remediation but will not prioritized over improvements contributing to resident health, safety and welfare. Residents should contact the City’s 311 at 574-233-0311 or firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the application process.
“The City is piloting a new approach that leverages our limited resources for greater impact and directs this investment to stabilize our aging housing stock in neighborhoods with significant needs,” said Department of Community Investment Executive Director James Mueller. “I’m also proud of our Department’s collaboration with residents to ensure we removed all unnecessary barriers to participating in the program.”
Director of Engagement & Economic Empowerment Alkeyna Aldridge said “We want to make sure that we’re co-creating programs with residents to ensure maximum impact that best meets resident needs and aspirations. We continue to learn and innovate based on resident-sourced ideas.”
Councilmember Williams-Preston (2nd District) sees this as a win for 2nd district legacy homeowners: “By organizing residents and empowering them with information, the City was able to work with 2nd district residents. Legacy homeowners were able to work with the City’s administration to shape inclusive, neighborhood-friendly policies that address pressing needs in their community.”
Pending this pilot program’s success, the City will look to expand the program in future years.
Who: Representative from the Department of Community Investment, Councilmember Regina Williams-Preston, neighborhood resident Stacey Odom
What: Launch of Home Repair Pilot Program
When: Thursday, July 26 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: 136 N Chicago St.