26 Michigan flood and emergency home repair programs available for residents

Michigan’s season of extreme weather is starting to kick into gear, including threats of record-setting heat striking Southeast Michigan this week.

There is also potential for severe storms Monday night arriving around 7 p.m.

Severe storms mean powerful wind gusts and potential for heavy rainfall in a short time period – which can cause flooding in basements and highways.

As flooding issues continue to affect Detroit and much of the metro region, local and state governments have worked to establish relief programs for residents caught with water damage and growing mold. 

The programs are made up with a combination of grants, loans, weatherization assistance, as well as community-based home repair programs.

The ecosystem of repair options is extensive and only apply to specific types of repairs. The same programs that offer help for a roof won’t replace a furnace or water heater. If a basement floods, repair money won’t necessarily fix the cause, just remove the damage.

RELATED: Michigan senior’s homes, livelihoods imperiled by intensifying floods

The Detroit Home Repair Resource Guide, put together by the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions department, compiles all available programs. It’s updated periodically and is separated into four categories:

  • Home Repair Loan Programs
  • Home Repair Grant Programs
  • Weatherization & Energy Efficiency Programs
  • Community-based home Repair Programs/Services

Home Repair Loan Programs

The programs available under this category include options from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Liberty Bank, Michigan Saves, and for Detroit residents, the City of Detroit.

The interest rates are low for the loans, but vary based on the source they’re from. For MSHDA, eligible repairs include work on the exterior, heating, air conditioning, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, attic and basement finishing, or septic and sewer replacements.

Only the city of Detroit’s program offers 0% interest. 

Home Repair Grant Programs

The Detroit Home Repair Guide has 10 different grant programs from the state, federal government, and some specific for the city of Detroit.

The grant options don’t come with the expected interest rate guidelines, but there are eligibility requirements that applicants will need to meet before applying.

For instance, under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services program offers funding for repairing unsafe living conditions and restoring essential services: like furnaces and hot water heaters. The energy repairs come with lifetime limits on the max that can be received. 

To qualify, applicants will need to live in the home, not be selling it, and upkeep of the property must be affordable.

Non-profit agencies can also qualify for grant funding through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Agencies that deal directly with work that seeks to stabilize neighborhoods qualify. Approximately $2 million is available for 2022 applicants. Organizations receive about $50,000 each.

For those seeking grant assistance from a bank entity, they can try the Neighborhood Impact Program, which is through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. These grants, listed at $7,500 each, help homeowners make repairs. The bank often times partners with community organizations or other local banks.

Homeowners may only receive one FLHBI grant for any one property every five years. 

There is a Detroit Area on Aging program that does home repair services through the state’s Medicaid MI choice waiver program. The home repair services are reimbursed through Medicaid, which helps seniors and adults with disabilities stay in their home.

Any applicants will have needed to make a reasonable effort to find funding options.

Weatherization & Energy Efficiency Programs

DTE and Wayne County both have weatherization assistance programs that can help improve efficiency for energy. 

Under the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), low-income households can receive energy improvements that help increase the efficiency of a home, which can reduce the costs of electricity and heating. The grants are worth up to $7,500. The improvements won’t be installed until any other major repairs are complete.

Under WRAP, or the Water Residential Assistance Program, offers utility assistance and late housing payments. Applicants can also get $2,000 for minor plumbing repairs.

Community-based Home Repair Programs

There are nine community groups that offer programs specific for home adaption and senior-specific fixes to homes following a disaster and residences in need of general repairs.

Bridging Communities in Detroit, for instance, connects clients with home repair grants, loan programs, and resources to help keep them in their homes. RTSEM, or Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan, works with a bevy of local Detroit groups to conduct home inspections that helps locate the issues with the highest priorities.

The community-based programs do both emergency fixes and offer assistance that may not be included in disaster relief, like front porch repairs, cleaning services, and even classes for home owners on how to do home repairs themselves.

The entire resource guide can be found here. It includes links to applying for each program and explanations for what is and isn’t covered under the available money.

Jack Nissen is a reporter at FOX 2 Detroit. You can contact him at Jack.Nissen@fox.com

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