City, Hope Home Repair to part ways – The Kansan

Chad Frey Newton Kansan

For decades, Hope Home Repair has helped low-income homeowners repair their homes.

Since 2011, Hope Home Repair has worked in partnership with the City of Newton, using funding from Community Development Block Grants to help repair home heaters and roofs for homeowners with an annual income of $ 14,000.

Those days are obviously over. On January 11th, the city commission will likely terminate the agreement – at the request of Hope Home Repair.

The organization’s board of directors informed the city’s employees by letter at the end of December that the organization “cannot accept any new applications” and called for a letter of intent to be concluded between the city and Hope Home Repair.

“The founder of HOPE, a licensed general contractor, was able to do a large part of the work himself over many years. Health challenges have gradually changed that, ”wrote the board in a letter to the city commission and city staff.

If you call the phone number listed on the organization’s letterhead and on the web for Hope Home Repair, you will receive a “Phone number not valid” message.

During the agreement, the city’s staff helped approve funding applications. Projects included replacing exterior cladding, gutters, broken windows, the roof, electrical or sanitary upgrades, and repainting the house facades.

“[We] would like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest thanks to the staff and board members of HHR for their dedicated service to those most in need in the Newton Ward, ”wrote Kelly McElroy, city manager, in a memo to the city commissioner. “Your work has improved countless lives and qualities in our community, and we are grateful for your service.”

At the serviced income level, home repairs can be difficult, if not impossible, to pay for. The CDBG-backed loans were / will be paid back to the revolving account with the city when the property changes hands.

“Still, statistics show that the cost of a senior housing community is far higher than staying in your own home, and it’s also more satisfying and mentally healthier,” the Hope Home Repair board wrote in a letter to city officials.

City officials and the commission have recommended and recommended that any remaining CDBG funds committed to the Hope Home Repair program can be transferred to a new city weathering program “that has a similar mission and vision”. City officials estimated that there is approximately $ 49,000 in CBDG funding that could be poured into the new program.