Applicants sought for home repair for vets project

GENESEE COUNTY — Genesee County Habitat for Humanity (GCHFH) is seeking applicants for its Critical Home Repair for Veteran’s program.

GCHFH is one of 84 Habitat affiliates nationwide chosen to participate in Repair Corps, a veterans-support initiative of Habitat for Humanity International and The Home Depot Foundation.

GCHFH received grant funds for five projects in Genesee County, said Juan Zuniga, program director.

“Our two current projects are both located in the City of Flint; the other three have yet to be determined,” he said.

Repair Corps is funded by The Home Depot Foundation with a $2.7 million cash and in-kind gift card donation. Starting in 2011, The Home Depot Foundation committed $30 million over three years to nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the homes of economically disadvantaged veterans. It began with a pilot program in 2011- 12, and was spread out to 30 states in July 2012 with a goal of completing 180 home repair projects by June 30 of this year.

Home repair grants will be allocated in amounts up to $15,000 for each Repair Corps project. The program grants will cover the cost of a variety of repairs that could include roofing and weather stripping; installation of wheelchair ramps; and renovated bathrooms and doorways to accommodate disabled veterans.

Same as the model for new homes built for Habitat families, veterans chosen for Repair Corps. will be asked to repay a zero percent interest loan for the work.

“We are excited to participate in the launch of Habitat for Humanity’s Repair Corps program and grateful to The Home Depot Foundation for funding this project,” Zuniga said.

“It is truly an honor to work in partnership with former service men and women, and their families.”

A “veteran” is defined as a resident living in a home who is has served in the military. The home must be owned by the residents of the home, but the veteran does not have to be the homeowner. The home must be the primary resident of the veteran and he/she must have received an honorable discharge.

It is estimated that, as of 2009, there were about 675,000 veterans in the U.S. who earn 30-50 percent of area median income, making them eligible for Habitat’s help, according to a Habitat press release. That number has likely grown in the past three years and could go even higher as more veterans of for- eign wars make the transition to civilian life in the next few years.

“We are proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity International as we aim to ensure that every U.S. veteran has a safe and accessible place to call home,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation.

In addition to providing funding, through an associate-led volunteer program called Team Depot thousands of Home Depot associates will volunteer their time and talents to transform neighborhoods and perform basic repairs and modifications to homes and facilities serving veterans with critical housing needs.

GCHFH is also seeking volunteers for the projects. Through its Facebook page, a call went out last week for help with tasks including ripping out carpet, painting, yard and general cleaning. Donations also were requested for 800 square feet of carpet and a skilled trades carpet installer.

For details, contact Patrick or Juan at 810-766 9089, ext 5 or 6.

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