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Harrisburg reintroduces home improvement programs

Harrisburg has reintroduced two programs to help homeowners make repairs and bring properties up to code, Mayor Linda Thompson’s office said.

The programs are being funded with $230,000 in federal grants, said Robert Philbin, Thompson’s spokesman.

The city has enough money to fund about 35 projects, Thompson said.

Harrisburg’s Homeowners Emergency Loan Program, or HELP, provides grants or loans of up to $5,000 to residents who need to make emergency repairs to houses that are in substandard condition and pose threats to the health, safety or welfare of the household. Homeowners can use HELP grants or loans for fixes including heating, electrical, plumbing, emergency roof repairs and replacements, the mayor’s office said Thursday.

The city will award about 20 HELP loans and grants to households. Recipients are eligible for one award. Harrisburg is using a $125,000 Community Development Block Grant to fund the program, Philbin said.

The second initiative, the Home Improvement Program, or HIP, provides low- to moderate-income residents with grants or loans for fixes aimed at bringing properties into compliance with the Property Maintenance Standards Code. The money also can be used for repairs and updates to home systems, the mayor’s office said. Recipients must meet low- to moderate-income standards as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. For more information on HUD standards click here.

The city is going to dole out about 15 HIP grants or loans, Thompson’s office said. It was not immediately clear for up to how much each recipient is eligible for through the HIP program. The HIP program is being funded through a $105,000 HUD Home Improvement Grant.

Priority assistance will be given to the elderly and applicants with disabilities through each program, Thompson’s office said.

For more information, click here, or interested applicants can visit Suite 206 in the City Government Center at 10 N. Second St. and ask for information about the HELP and HIP programs.

Editor’s note: This item was modified from its previous version to correct that the programs are being funded with $230,000 in federal grants.

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