$20M home repair program for lower income Detroit residents offers hope

Look around downtown Detroit, and you’ll see new construction popping up almost everywhere. Detroit is in a new construction renaissance. While it looks good, what may be better is repairing the quality of homes considered inadequate.

There are tens of thousands of homes in the city that need a lot of TLC. A survey by the University of Michigan’s Detroit Metro Area Community study says one in seven occupied households in Detroit have major repair issues.

Lifelong Detroiter Loretta Powell is one of those homeowners.

FOX 2: “What would having home repairs mean for you?”

“It would mean a lot for me,” said Powell. “Because I can save on energy because I need new windows and a deck because it’s falling apart.”

She shared her story at the launch of Detroit’s Home Repairs Fund Program.

The goal is simple – help low-income homeowners, who are financially burdened by the need for house repairs. For Loretta Powell, this program offers hope.

“I’m just so grateful and happy that the city, the residents, will be able to get what they need,” Powell said.

The Detroit Home Repairs Fund is spearheaded by the Gilbert Family Foundation, which is partnering with companies like DTE Energy, ProMedica, Enterprise, and the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative.

The team will invest $20 million into the fund.

“Housing stability is about more than staying in your home – it is also about feeling safe in your home,” said Jennifer Gilbert, co-founder Gilbert Family Foundation.

Detroit’s battle with blight is well-documented. Studies show living in or near inadequate housing can lead to chronic health conditions or injuries for our most vulnerable.

“Home repair creates and preserves generational wealth for Detroiters who have sustained our city,” said Mary Sheffield, Detroit City Council president. “When we talk about families, and grandmothers, and grandfathers, who have been in their home 40 to 50 years. They’re not going anywhere but they want to be able to pass that down to their children.”

The Detroit Homes Repair Fund Program is first-come, first-serve. Members of DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance program will be flagged.

You can also call 313-306-2082 to sign up. Crews are expected to begin making repairs this summer.



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