Home improvement program accepting applications

Published 10:32am Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Community Home Improvement Project is getting ready for a big summer.

CHIP officials and volunteers are asking for applications from homeowners who would like a little help beautifying the exterior of their home. Applications from all neighborhoods will be considered, with the Queen of Angels and Roosevelt Bridge neighborhoods targeted as priority areas.

“By focusing on target neighborhoods, we can measure the impact that improving a few homes has on the property values of the entire neighborhood. CHIP is about assisting home owners in maintaining equity in their property and also about improving the condition of the whole neighborhood,” said Brent Johnson, Freeborn Mower Habitat for Humanity Community Development Director.

CHIP is powered by volunteer labor and is a collaboration by the Vision 2020 Community Pride & Spirit committee, the Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Freeborn-Mower Habitat for Humanity. CHIP hopes to serve 12 families this year.

Local volunteers will donate more than 1,400 hours of labor in 2014. CHIP offers home repairs as needed including painting, window replacement, tree trimming and concrete repair. Each family situation will be evaluated individually. Based on family need and resources, CHIP offers low-interest loans to pay for materials. In some cases, home owners with very low incomes will receive materials as a grant. Volunteers contribute labor. Home owners and their families are expected to participate in the projects with ‘sweat equity’ as they are able.

All volunteers are scheduled and lead by Freeborn Mower Habitat for Humanity. No special home improvement skills are needed; minimum age is 14. Groups and families are encouraged to volunteer together.

For more information about volunteering or receiving services, contact Community Development Director Brent Johnson at 507-433-1349. Priority will be given to home owners applying for services by May 5, 2014.

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