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Detroit gets $15 million from state to fund expand home repair program

House in Detroit.
Jason Irla

New state money is helping Detroit expand its program that helps homeowners make needed home repairs.

The Renew Detroit program originally put $30 million in federal stimulus funds toward helping 1,500 households make roof repairs. Applications for that part of the program are now closed.

But now the city will launch a second round in October with another $15 million from Lansing. This time, applicants can choose between roof and window repairs.

“We do know from our first round that we’ve got a lot of folks in this town whose roofs are fine, but have cold air blowing in through the windows,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.

The program has strict eligibility criteria. People must own their home, be 62 or older, or have a disability. They must also have Detroit’s low-income property tax exemption, also called the HOPE exemption.

Detroit City Council member Mary Sheffield said it’s fitting that seniors get priority. “They've endured the good and the bad in this city,” she said. “And this is the least that we can do to give back to them and show them that we love them, that we appreciate them, and that we respect them.”

City officials say the first round of Renew Detroit had 2,300 qualified applicants for the 1,500 spots. A 2021 University of Michigan survey found the need for home repairs in Detroit is vast, with some 38,000 households living in substandard conditions.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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