Elderly, low-income Detroiters get help for home repairs from federal Covid funds

Detroit is using federal COVID-19 relief dollars to help longtime residents stay in the city.

"We are here to talk about a historic investment in the homes of Detroiters," said Mayor Mike Duggan.

President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan gave more than $400 million to the city of Detroit. Sparked by that, city leaders are announcing a major initiative financed by $30 million of that funding for a program called Renew Detroit.

"We are going to triple the amount of money that is going to low-income homeowners in the city of Detroit to repair their homes," Duggan said.

In the past, the city was able to fund about 250 senior emergency home repairs at about $6 million every year through its Community Block Grant. Renew Detroit will allow even more residents to get assistance.

"What Renew Detroit will do is is add another eight to $10 million a year on top of that, over the next three years and do another 500 houses," Duggan said.

Mayor Duggan says the program will kick off phase one with helping Detroiters get new roofs - fulfilling one of the most often heard requests.

The application process for phase one of Renew Detroit starts October 1st snd goes through October 31st.

The criteria to meet in order to qualify is:

  • You have to be a homeowner who is either 62 years of age or disabled.
  • You must have an approved poverty exemption formerly called HPTAP, now called HOPE.
  • Residents who did not already receive a city home repair grant of $10,000 in the last 10 years.

Online CLICK HERE for more information. If you don’t have access to a computer Dan Gilbert’s Rocket Community Fund is financing a call center and hotline for the program. Call 313-244-0274.

As some Detroiters continue to deal with flooded basements the mayor says Renew Detroit will help build the foundation for other programs to help Detroiters.

Mayor Duggan believes some of those programs could be seen in Phase Two of Renew Detroit.

"Electrical systems and plumbing systems are the two we would like to get to next," Duggan said. "Interestingly there are a number of different programs that will fund a new plumbing system, but they won’t fund it for a house that’s leaking from the roof. This will actually unlock a number of other grant programs.

The city is also calling on Detroit contractors and people wanting to train to do construction work as part of Renew Detroit. To apply for these opportunities. CLICK HERE.