Applications are now open for a program that provides matching grants for exterior home improvement projects.
The City of Ottumwa Planning and Development Department has announced the opening of applications for the Healthy Neighbors Home Improvement Grants. The Healthy Neighbors program was launched in 2019 for the purpose of helping working families and seniors close the gap between their budgets and completing improvement projects that beautify the community. The program provides a 50 percent match up to $1,000 for exterior home improvement projects that meet the qualifications.
There are two changes to the program for 2020, the first of which being an earlier application window.
“We’ve moved up applications so that we can cover the entire building season,” said city planner zach simonson. “we’re also aware that families are receiving their cares act stimulus checks and that this program could help stretch those payments for a bigger impact.”
The second change is a focus on neighborhood level projects. The program had originally been conceived with a focus on improvements block-by-block rather than house-by-house. As the program has matured, the planners want to give more focus to projects that show the neighbors are working together to boost the entire neighborhood. The City is encouraging applicants to reach out to neighbors and submit joint applications, provided that they follow social distancing guidelines for their own safety.
Applications are due by June 8, 2020 and awards will be announced June 15, 2020. Selected projects must be completed before December 31, 2020. Applications as well as other information are available at www.cityofottumwa.com. Those seeking more information may contact the Planning Department at (641) 683-0618 or e-mail email@example.com.