DETROIT (WXYZ) — More than 1,000 Detroit homeowners stand to benefit from a $20 million grant program to pay for much needed home repairs, according the Gilbert Family Foundation.
“The Detroit Home Repair Fund is a $20 million fund that both increases access to home repair resources and simplifies the process of distributing these dollars," Jennifer Gilbert, co-founder of the Gilbert Family Foundation, said.
At press conference Tuesday afternoon, she explained a partnership with DTE Energy and ProMedica. She said the grants are for Detroit homeowners who are concerned about losing the economic stability of their homes or on the verge of living in unsafe conditions.
Organizers say repairs range from fixing holes in the roof to other upgrades that make properties more energy efficient.
Loretta Powell, who's active in her community, has lived in Detroit 55 years and said she's one of the first recipients of the grant.
"I was jumping up and down. I was praising God. I was so happy and excited," she told 7 Action News. "I wouldn’t have repairs right now because I really couldn’t come up with the money right now for the windows. So, I’m really grateful and thankful.”
Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield told 7 Action News one of the top concerns among residents she speaks with is the need for home repair funding.
“This means stabilizing our neighborhoods. It means relief to the most vulnerable in our community," Sheffield said.
"Our seniors have made it very clear that they want to stay in our city, but they need help fixing their homes and so today is just an historic announcement," she added.
To qualify, the foundation said you need to own the home you live in, have income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and you must have received or applied for the property tax assistance program. The program was launched by Gilbert family in March last year, and they paid off delinquent property taxes for Detroit seniors.
"I got a feeling in a year or so, we're going to be standing here with our new problem, and it's a problem we never could have imagined. Our problem getting these repairs done is not a lack of money, we need the workers," Mayor Mike Duggan said.
Duggan then suggested creating a training program for workers from Detroit to do the repairs.
If you are interested in applying for the Detroit Home Repair Fund, you can call 313-306-2082.