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Grant would help homeowners cited by code enforcement pay for repairs

NOW: Grant would help homeowners cited by code enforcement pay for repairs

NILES, Mich. – The Michigan Gateway Community Foundation awarded the City of Niles a grant that would help homeowners cited by code enforcement pay for home repairs.

The city and homeowners hope the $14,000 grant eases the financial burden and builds safety.

The city applied for the grant because they say the understand paying for some of the repairs code enforcement requires can be costly.

“When you’re talking about new roof costs and $8,000-10,000, I mean those are big chunks of money that, you know, people maybe, have not been able to budget for, so there’s a huge need out there for just generalized home maintenance that really impacts the quality of the home,” said Lamb. “If you don’t replace your roof, and you have a leak, it doesn’t take very long before the entire home is ruined.”

The city says this money will help low to moderate income homeowners cited by code enforcement make repairs that keep their home livable. Qualified homeowners can receive $500-2,500. The money can be used to pay for roof, furnace, and electrical repairs, and replace water heaters.

“By utilizing this grant, we may be able to keep eight or nine folks in their home,” said Lamb. “Vacant homes really do create issues for the community, so if we can get a roof done and that maintains the home for a longer period of time, if we can get a furnace so that person can stay in the home, these are all huge benefits.”

“It would make people care about it, the neighborhood,” said Niles resident Sadie Powell. “If you get a grant to fix up your house and it don’t cost you anything, your whole attitude and personality would change about that. You’d be thankful and they would keep up.”

Powell thinks this grant could help improve the look and reputation of some parts of town.

“They’ll probably look at the house that [have] been remodeled and say, ‘Oooh, look at that! That house look[s] real good, is that the same house? They’d say boy that does look good,’” said Powell.

Eligible homeowners interested in applying can email NilesCDBG@nilesmi.org or call (269)683-4700 ext. 3021.

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