City offering help with home repairs

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.

Are you a Gainesville resident who needs major home repairs that you can't afford?



What: Applications will be accepted for the city of Gainesville Housing Rehabilitation Program.
When: Beginning Nov. 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Where: Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Ave., Room 253.
Information: Call 352-334-5026 ext. 5624.

If so, you may be eligible to have your repairs done for free through the city of Gainesville Housing Rehabilitation Program.

Teresa Osoba of the city of Gainesville Housing and Community Development Division said the program, which is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides assistance to eligible homeowners with health and safety violations in their home.

The program addresses problems with roofing, windows, doors, electrical, plumbing and heating. "Assistance will be on a first-come, first-served basis," said Osoba. "We review cases individually to determine eligibility."

Osaba said applications will be accepted from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday beginning Nov. 26 until funding runs out. Applications are now available at the Housing Division office in the Thomas Center at 302 NE 6th Ave., Room 253. They cannot be mailed to residents. Completed applications will be stamped with the date the application is received.

To qualify, homeowners must meet the following requirements:

Own and occupy the dwelling as a principal residence with homestead exemption.

Have a property deed in their name.

Be current on property taxes and mortgage payments.

Have not previously participated in the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program, except for the Roof Repair Program.

Provide proof of home ownership.

Provide current bank statements going back six months.

Show proof of income, such as from employment, Social Secu

rity, child support, retirement and other income.

Take a three-hour homeowner training class that emphasizes the importance of home maintenance and provides tips on such things as plumbing, heating/air conditioning, home maintenance tools, exterior home maintenance and lawn maintenance. Classes are offered the third Thursday of each month. The next class will take place from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Thursday at the King Center at 1028 NE 14th St.

The application process also will consist of a home inspection by a housing rehabilitation specialist who will determine which repairs are needed in order to comply with building codes and standards.

Osoba said about 160-180 applications are received each year, with about 85 percent of them meeting eligibility requirements.

"Anyone in need of assistance to bring their home to code should apply." Osoba said. "Our goal is to assist as many families in need as we can."

Annie Lampkin of northeast Gainesville praised the professionalism with which she was treated.

Lampkin said her 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom, one-bath home received a new roof through the program.

"They were very courteous and prompt," Lampkin said. "I'm very impressed. They made the application process easy and they go overboard to help."

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