With grant, housing maintenance assistance expands

By Andy Balaskovitz

Greater Lansing Housing Coalition lands $80,000 grant for home repair program for low-income seniors

Wednesday, Feb. 13 — The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition will ramp up its free home maintenance assistance for low-income seniors thanks to an $80,000 grant it received recently from AARP.

Katherine Draper, executive director of the housing coalition, said the grant will fund the nonprofit’s “Tuesday Toolmen” program, which offers free home repair, maintenance or modifications to low-income seniors. Repairs are done by about 20 volunteers, Draper said.

“This program is so popular,” Draper said today on “City Pulse on the Air.” “It helps make their homes accessible and livable. … We were able to expand the program with the help of the grant.”

Last year, the program installed 25 ramps for those needing help getting in and out of their homes, Draper said. Other projects have included installing hot water heaters and plumbing repairs.

The program is funded entirely by donations, which goes toward building materials. The AARP grant lasts for a year.

“It’s a program we always try and find more funding for,” she said. “However, it’s an expensive program to run because of the materials involved.”

Draper said each project costs “in excess” of $1,200 or $1,300: “And that’s with all volunteer labor and very skilled toolmen.”

Applications for assistance can be found at glhc.org. Call the housing coalition at 517-372-5980 if you’re interested in volunteering or donating materials.