JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Senior Citizen Home Improvement Program had unanticipatedly become very popular among residents in Jamestown, received nearly 300 applications in August, and now decidedly need more funding.
The original allocation was roughly $500,000, with the same amount for a tax rebate incentive. Now, officials are seeking an additional $500,000 after a total of $1.8 million dollars in applications were received.
“We have the senior citizen home improvement program that ended up becoming wildly popular within the city. We have requests for improvements that total about $1.8 million dollars and we originally only allocated about $500,000 to that program,” said Mayor Eddie Sundquist.
The pandemic saw a drop in sustainable income for many.
“We have so many of our seniors that really can’t afford to put on a new roof or repair the windows in their house which can get very costly so the ability for the city using rescue cost funds to help and assist them when many times they lost income and revenue during the pandemic, to be able to help them get back on their feet, to be able to help them make those renovations in their home, it’s a really important thing and really helps out are community as a whole,” Sundquist said.
In order to qualify, the homeowner must be a senior citizen and make less than $22,000 a year.
There is also a tax credit for those who make under $90,000 a year, where the city will pay for $10,000 in improvements with a ten percent match from the household.
“Even if we were to get the $1.5 million, which is what we’re asking the city council, is really gonna make a huge difference in housing stock in the city of Jamestown that is very old and it needs a lot of love so to be able to help our citizens, many who are on fixed incomes, limited incomes, to get that window replaced that they haven’t been able to and they’ve been living with it, is a really important thing for the community,” Sundquist said.
In the end, the Mayor believes the funding would help better the community for its seniors who, without this program, would not be able to complete these renovations to their homes.