City Expands Minor Home Repair Program to Help More Residents

Valdosta City, Georgia Homeowner Assistance Fund

Valdosta City Council Georgia has approved an expansion of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) minor housing repair project, which aims to provide assistance to homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and revitalize the local economy through repair programs. With the allocation of an additional $500,000, the total amount for the program has now increased to $850,000. The funds will be used to provide relief for 92 out of 911 applicants, an increase of 50 residents from the previous allocation.

Valdosta received a total ARPA allocation of $16,254,682, with half of the allocation being received in June 2021. Of the funds, $3.2 million was retained to pay hourly city employees. The city had received 234 applications, totaling $3.9 million of potentially eligible requests. In response, council approved an additional $1 million to expand the program during its Oct. 20 meeting, and applications within each tier were prioritized on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Anetra Riley, neighborhood development and community protections manager, said the program covers exterior painting, pressure washing, air conditioning/heat, doors, roof, windows and porch or step repairs. The grant has a limit of $10,000 per household, but another application will be opening soon for major repairs. Federal guidelines also do not stipulate an income limit, with the main requirement being the applicant is a resident within Valdosta city limits.

To receive funding, applicants are required to meet specific qualifications, including providing a copy of the deed to prove ownership of property, a copy of state-issued ID, and completing the City of Valdosta ARPA housing application.

As of Nov. 4, 2022, the city had received 911 applications, of which 877 were located within the city limits and were divided into four tiers. These tiers included minority/female/veteran owned properties located in the QCT, with 650 applications, non-minority/female/veteran owned properties located in the QCT with 27 applications, minority/female/veteran owned properties located outside of the QCT with 198 applications, and non-minority/female/veteran owned properties located outside of the QCT with two applications.

The expansion of the program was unanimously approved by the City Council, and the ARPA minor housing repair project continues to provide much-needed relief to homeowners impacted by the pandemic while stimulating the local economy.

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