Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is proposing $7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Syracuse Common Council to help city homeowners fix up their properties and put owning a home in reach of more families. The Council’s Economic Development Committee will consider the proposal at its standing committee meeting on Thursday, Aug. 12.

“The pandemic is forcing families to make difficult choices, and it is too often the quality of their housing that’s suffering. Our neighborhoods are feeling the effects of deferred maintenance on properties, and many buyers have had to set aside their dream of ownership. ARPA relief can give city residents the help they badly need to invest in their properties and help us create more owner-occupied homes in city neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh.  “This funding will ensure we are delivering on our promise to support children, families and neighborhoods with ARPA funding.”

Under the proposed program, the City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development will work with Home HeadQuarters, Inc., a Syracuse non-profit that provides low interest loans and grants for home purchase and improvement to underserved residents. The City will require Home Headquarters, which has been a partner with city government for 25 years, to invest:

  • $4.5 million in the Urgent Care Program to offer loans of up to $25,000 for emergency repairs, including roof, plumbing and sewer leaks; non-working furnaces; collapsed foundations; priority code violations and other life safety repairs.
  • $1 million in SHARP (Syracuse Homeowner Assistance and Repair Program) grants to cover minor exterior home improvements and assistance with code compliance.
  • $1 million in 1% interest home improvement loans.
  • $500,000 for closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers.

Home HeadQuarters’ programs are for repairs on homes that are a primary residence. They must also be current on taxes and meet certain eligibility requirements. Based on federal ARPA guidelines, properties must also be in qualifying census tracts.

Mayor Walsh will also ask the Council to authorize ARPA spending at its Aug. 23 regular meeting on information technology for the City’s minority- and women-owned business enterprise programs,  a water pump station in Eastwood, and for construction of a new fire training facility.

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