Detroit home-repair program gets cash infusion to replace roofs and windows

Shawntay Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit     A home-repair program from the City of Detroit has received a $15 million grant this summer to help replace roofs and windows in more than 2,000 homes in Detroit by 2024.

Renew Detroit is a free home-repair program for eligible Detroiters who are 62 or older, disabled and haven't received a grant in the last 10 years, said chief of special housing programs Heather Zygmontowicz.

A $15 million grant to Renew Detroit grant will help repair homes.

"It's so important that we help longtime Detroiters remain in their home, and one of the best ways we can do that is to help them make the major repairs they cannot afford on their own," Detroit Mayor Duggan said in a statement Friday.

The program is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act as part of post-COVID emergency grants to support home- and community-based services, said Tonya Joy, director of Neighborhood Housing Initiatives for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.  

"This grant program will be transformative for homeowners residing within the city of Detroit. They will be able to make much-needed repairs to roofs, or windows that they otherwise may not be able to afford," Joy said.

Renew Detroit has received over $45 million in funding this year through the city and other grants

The program is currently going through phase one of assessing and approving 1,100 homes for roof replacement, which are expected to begin in September. Contractors are still being hired to begin this process.

State Rep. Tenisha Yancey said based on her experiences in 2017, an investment into Detroit residential houses was much needed, not on only just the roofs. 

"My first year that I ran and I literally had to jump over the porch because this lady's porch was caving in. And once I spoke to her, I realized that she needed additional services inside of her home, her roof had been leaking for like three years," Yancey said. 

In the newest phase of the repair program, new window replacement is available to further assist home owners, said Joy. The new funding will be used for windows and roof replacement in the next three years.

Eligible Detroiter's homes are surveyed and scored based on what the house's condition is. After meeting the criteria, the most urgent need to the home will be considered for repair, said Zygmontowicz. 

Homeowners can apply online for the program from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31 at detroitmi.gov/HOPE or by calling (313) 244-0274 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.