City of Sacramento creates emergency home repair program for income-eligible homeowners

Sacramento City Council last Tuesday unanimously approved over $500,000 for the Justice for Neighbors Emergency Home Repair Program to provide grants to help income-eligible households who are not able to make necessary repairs impacting the safety and habitability of their homes.

The program aims to help maintain Sacramento’s aging housing stock and stop properties from becoming unsafe and a public nuisance.

Created and funded in part by the City Attorney’s Office, the program will be managed by the City’s Community Development Department in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento.

“The City wants to assist homeowners, who to no fault of their own, but due to health challenges, aging, limited income, or other legitimate circumstances are unable to perform repairs on their property that would otherwise render it substandard or dangerous,” said Senior Deputy City Attorney Michael Benner. “Keeping families safely in their homes was a primary consideration in the creation of this pilot program.”

Eligible households may qualify for up to $15,000 in one-time funding to complete needed repairs.

Potentially eligible properties are those which have Code violations which, unless repaired, could lead to the homeowners being displaced. This includes the replacement or repair of substandard or dangerous roofs, electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems.

“Substandard and dangerous housing presents a serious and present threat to the health and safety of our residents and community in the city of Sacramento,” said the City’s Code and Housing Enforcement Chief Peter Lemos. “We regularly observe households facing habitability challenges due to a lack of resources to address substandard and dangerous conditions. This program can help provide the resources to make the needed repairs and keep people in their homes.”

“Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento is excited to be working with the City of Sacramento in launching this pilot program,” said Leah Miller, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento. “Through this investment, we will be able to work with homeowners on completing critical health and safety repairs, which left unaddressed, have the potential to result in displacement.”

To qualify for the Emergency Home Repair Program, households must:

  • Have a gross annual income at or below 80% of the local area median income;
  • Be a single-family and owner-occupied household;
  • Have code violations that would qualify it as a Substandard or Dangerous Building pursuant to the Sacramento City Code.

Community Development Building Inspectors or Code Enforcement Officers will refer cases for the program. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento will serve as the general contractor on all approved repair projects.

Habitat for Humanity will utilize other resources and partnerships, including SMUD support and other nonprofits focused on energy efficiency and accessibility to further stretch these resources and get residents the assistance they need.

This program will not only support residents making necessary repairs to their homes, it will also help the City to save money in the long run by helping to resolve Code violations efficiently and effectively, officials said.

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