Emergency home repair program in Colonial Heights

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - There's a program in Colonial Heights, where the city will actually pay for emergency repairs to your home. The problem is city leaders say not enough residents are taking advantage of it. The reason why is likely because many residents don't know about the program.

We spoke with one resident who found out by accident - she applied and got thousands of dollars in free repairs to her home. Linda Webb has a new roof and porch on her home. It cost $8,000.

"The wood was all rotted," Linda said.

But Linda didn't have to pay a dime. By chance, Linda found out about the emergency home repair program in Colonial Heights. She applied and within months the city paid a contractor to replace Linda's leaky roof and crumbling porch.

City leaders say they have thousands of dollars in federal grant money for the program. Problem is they're having a hard time giving out the cash because not enough residents are taking advantage of the program.

The emergency home repair program is open to all residents in Colonial Heights. Eligibility is based on income. You must also be a homeowner, living in the house that's in need of repair. There is a ranking system for applicants who qualify.

"People with the lowest income levels or have the highest level of disability, things of that nature, will score high," said George Schanzenbacher, Department of Planning.

Repairs are not cosmetic. Improvements include electrical, plumbing, and roof. City leaders say the program not only benefits residents but also the city.

"By keeping these homes in good shape the value stays up there and we don't have to deal with a lot of dilapidated property," George said.

As for Linda - she says she would not have been able to afford the work done on her home without the program.

"It's a relief," she said.

The maximum amount of money an applicant can receive in repairs is $8,000. City leaders say, next month they'll have more than one hundred thousand dollars for the program.

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