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Galesburg rolls out housing repair assistance program

Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio
The housing repair assistance program grew out of the city's strategic planning process and is meant to improve the community's housing stock.

Grants of up to $4,500 will be available for low- and moderate-income owner-occupied homes.

Through the strategic planning process, Galesburg city council members came to a consensus that the quality of the housing stock in the community is critical to the quality of life.

It’s also key to attracting new residents and new businesses.

With that in mind, the city is rolling out a new program to help eligible homeowners bring properties into compliance with housing standards, construction codes, and local ordinances.

“The goal is to do repairs that need to be done, whether it be electrical, plumbing, maybe the roof has a leak that the homeowner just can’t afford to replace. Maybe it’s the heating system in the dwelling,” said interim City Manager Wayne Carl.

Grants of up to $4,500 will be available for low- and moderate-income owner-occupied homes.

The grants will be administered within the city’s community development department and paid for out of the property redevelopment fund.

Carl said the grants are for repair projects that would not be feasible for homeowners without financial assistance.

According to the city, eligible projects include:

• Improvements to remedy barriers that restrict accessibility of the elderly or persons with disabilities (i.e. ramps, private sidewalks)
• Installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
• Demolition of unsafe, illegal or unapproved accessory garages/sheds less than 1,000 square feet
• Repair of unsafe exterior porches, decks, ramps, steps, and stairs
• Replace HVAC equipment over 15 years old
• Repair/Replace unsafe electrical issues, installation of GFCI outlets in kitchens or bathrooms and Arc Fault outlets in bedrooms
• Plumbing repairs to bring the system into a safe, sanitary and functional condition
• Minor roof repairs when a five-year leak free warranty can be provided by an Illinois licensed roofing company

Application information will be distributed on the city’s website, via social media, through various social service organizations, and in residents’ water bills.

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