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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

Dallas has cash to help seniors fix up their homes and age in place

Handyman Roberto Valerio kneels on the floor in front of a kitchen sink as he measures pipe for a repair.
Tony Gutierrez/AP
Home improvements and repairs that improve accessibility, health and efficiency can help senior citizens stay in their own homes as they grow older.

Newly approved city funding will help lower-income homeowners over 65 years old pay for home repairs that improve accessibility, health and safety, and efficiency.

But there’s a limited window to apply.

The Dallas City Council approved a short-term grant program on Wednesday aimed at helping senior citizens who don’t make a lot of money to stay in their homes as they age.

The Senior Home Repair Program will provide up to $10,000 per household to install wheelchair ramps and other accessibility improvements. The funds can also go toward health and safety improvements or replacing aging appliances like air conditioners and water heaters.

“This would provide the ability of seniors who are low income to age in place, to stay in their neighborhoods, to preserve the housing stock in their neighborhoods,” said Council Member Paul Ridley.

The program is limited: Applicants must be age 65 and older and live in the City of Dallas. They must own their own homes, and the funds have to be used to repair their primary residence. And their household earnings can be no more than 80% of the median family income in their neighborhood.

The timing is limited, too. The city will be begin taking applications starting February 1, and stop taking applications on May 3.

“The approval of this grant program is a step in the right direction to be able to accommodate our aging population’s housing needs,” said Council Member Casey Thomas. “By adding accessibility improvements to their primary residences, we can affordably prevent aging residents’ displacement.”

Applications are available online, at the Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization offices in city hall, or in any neighborhood library or recreation center.

Got a tip? Christopher Connelly is KERA's One Crisis Away Reporter, exploring life on the financial edge. Email Christopher can follow Christopher on Twitter @hithisischris.

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Christopher Connelly is a reporter covering issues related to financial instability and poverty for KERA’s One Crisis Away series. In 2015, he joined KERA to report on Fort Worth and Tarrant County. From Fort Worth, he also focused on politics and criminal justice stories.