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The City of Rock Island to soon open up applications for new home rehab program

The Illinois Housing Development Authority awarded $300,000 to the City of Rock Island for the Home Repair and Accessibility Program.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Rock Island community members will soon get the chance to have some home repair work done, and at no cost to them.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority launched the Home Repair and Accessibility Program to provide households around the state with home rehabilitation assistance. Those with low-to-moderate incomes are eligible. 

Rehab includes anything from roofing repairs to fixing one's plumbing.

"The final category is all about ADA accessibility," Rock Island Community & Economic Development Director Miles Brainard said. "So, let's say you're someone in a wheelchair, has some mobility issues, there's funding available to help put a ramp on your house or make other adjustments to make it more accessible."

IHDA is awarding the City of Rock Island $300,000 for the program. Officials say for general rehab, $45,000 can be spent per home, and if repairs cost more, people can also apply for more money from the city's other programs.

"It's important to think of them not just as an investment in a single house, but an investment in a block, an investment in a street, an investment in whole neighborhood," Brainard said. "We're really trying to use these programs to engage in housing stabilization for the whole of the community."

Brainard told News 8 it's important to invest in the city.

"Our housing stock is old," Brainard said. It's in need of a little T.L.C., but it's what we have and it's worth putting money back into because it'll be there for the long term. A lot of our communities here on the Illinois side especially you're not seeing a large amount of new housing develop But our populations are relatively stable."

City leaders said they typically could see two-to-three-dozen households on the waiting list for their existing home rehab programs. The city is hoping to start rehabbing houses in late spring of 2023. 

Officials said this program is especially critical now for homeowners and for the city, because of inflation. The City of Moline is also a recipient of the same grant. The program is still awaiting a sign-off from the state.

Brainard said this program is to help homeowners extend the useful life of their homes, and improve the city's housing stock, which officials said is aging.

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