Detroit starts home repair program, opens applications for 2nd phase

The City of Detroit kicked off Friday the first phase of Renew Detroit, a $45 million program that will pay for home repairs for 2,000 low-income senior citizens and disabled Detroit residents. The first 200 roof replacements are expected to be complete this fall, officials said.

The kick-off comes as the city opens applications Saturday for phase two of the program, which will cover roof or window replacement.

“One of my most urgent priorities is keeping longtime Detroiters, who could have left the city but didn’t, to remain in their homes,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement. “Many of them are senior citizens who simply can’t afford the cost of a new roof or all new windows to make their home safe for them. Today is a demonstration to these residents that their city is here to support them.”

On Friday, Duggan and Councilman Scott Benson of District 3 visited Detroit resident Samela Dean at her home on Maine Street. Dean, a disabled homeowner on a fixed income, is one of the first recipients to get a new roof through the Renew Detroit program. Dean has owned her almost 100-year-old home since 2007.

“I love this program,” she said. “I’m getting a roof, and I’m excited. Now that I have a new roof, I’ll be able to take care of other repairs my home needs.”

When the Renew Detroit program was announced in September 2021, it was initially funded by $30 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. The program was recently expanded to $45 million with an additional $15 million from the State of Michigan, officials said.

In July, the Detroit City Council approved $2.9 million in roof replacement contracts for the first 200 homes. The phase one roof replacements will continue throughout 2023 and 2024, officials said. Phase two repairs will follow in 2024 through 2026.

Eligibility for Renew Detroit: senior homeowner, age 62 or older, or a disabled Detroit homeowner of any age; be approved for a 2022 property tax exemption through the Homeowner Property Exemption program; must not have received a home repair grant from the city of $10,000 or more in the past 10 years.

Applications for the phase two of Renew Detroit open Oct. 1 and close Oct. 31. Applicants will know the outcome of their application by spring 2023 and repairs will begin in spring 2024, officials said.

Applications are available at Applicants can apply online or via phone at (313) 244-0274, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. Saturdays. Renew Detroit staff will also be out in the community to help residents apply.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN

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