Yakima Programs Help Homeowners Pay for Home Repairs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Programs Help Homeowners Pay for Home Repairs

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YAKIMA, Wash.- The City of Yakima is fixing up neighborhoods one home at a time.

"Sidewalks are busted up, there are vacant lots, boarded up houses," said Mike Roheen who lives in the area.

This is what some people see when they go to run-down neighborhoods in East Yakima but the city is trying to change that. The Housing Rehabilitation Program allows homeowners who have never filed for bankruptcy, have good credit and are 80 percent below the median income to be considered for free or affordable home improvements.

"I can see difference where houses in between here and there are being fixed up real nice," said Roheen.

This program has remodeled and upgraded over 500 homes since it was started over 30 years ago. This house used to look more run down, but now it has a leak-proof roof, a gate, and a new heating system.

"$1,500 is very hard for anyone to come up with immediately," said Archie Matthews, the Operation Manager for the Office of Neighborhood Services.

Which is why this programs helps homeowners pay for their expenses and cover emergency repairs.

"They need insulation, furnace upgrades, door and window replacements," said Matthews.

And some houses even qualify for new paint jobs. Applicants are considered in the order they apply and by need basis. The Operation Manager says more homeowners have been taking advantage of this program.  

"With rising costs of materials and labor they couldn't afford to do this type of maintenance themselves," said Matthews.

There's currently a two-year waiting list but the Operational Manager says they prioritize emergency services.