Dowagiac launches Neighborhood Enhancement Project
DOWAGIAC, Mich. – Homes in one Michiana neighborhood could soon get some needed repairs.
The City of Dowagiac began accepting applications for its Neighborhood Enhancement Project grant this week.
If selected, ten homeowners could receive up to $5,000 to make exterior improvement to their house.
“What we want is neighborhoods where people feel secured, safe, and well cared for,” said Assistant City Manger Natalie Dean.
The money comes from a $50,000 grant the Michigan State Housing Development Authority awarded the city earlier this year.
Dean says people can use the money to pave driveways or landscape front decks, or complete other similar projects.
The city will help selected homeowners find contractors who can do the work.
“They have help the whole way,” said Dean. “It’s maybe getting a few projects done that they wanted to get done but couldn’t quite get to or didn’t have the money to get to. This is kind of the finishing touches on someone’s home.”
Residents must fill out an application on the city’s website. To be eligible, homeowners have to be caught up on their tax, insurance, and mortgage payments and live in a neighborhood south of Division Street.
“We want to take these neighborhoods that are a little more distressed and kind of bring them up to speed with some of our other neighborhoods,” said Dean. “Not make them look any different at all, [but] once we can have our housing stock here, which is older and really interesting, enhanced, then we can start kind of infilling with new structures and sore of make a new look to a lot of our neighborhoods.”
Carol Clendenin applied to the program on Monday. She wants to use the money to make improvements to her front and side decks.
“They offering to help beautify your home, make it better,” said Clendenin. “Why not take advantage of it?”
Clendenin believes this program will improve the look of her house and neighborhood.
“I think they’ll like it a lot better know that their home is like the ones on the north side of town,” said Clendenin. “It’s very expensive to keep the updates and things that need to be done on your home. Any program that’s offering to help, take advantage of it. Like I said, there [are] a lot of things that can be done around the house.”
Dean says the city plans to re-apply for the grant in the fall and, if awarded, use it for homes on the city’s north side.