By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
The City of Liberal offers many housing programs for citizens including the first-time home buyer’s program and multi-family and single-family housing incentives.
Another one of these, the Senior Housing Program, helps cover qualified senior citizens and handicapped households.
The program, which began in 2009 and has approved 210 grant applications, was another one of the many programs requested by the Focus on the Future committee as part of the one-cent sales tax program.
“It helps bring up the housing stock and helps the community,” Karen LaFreniere, director of Liberal’s housing and community development, said. “It’s been a great program and it’s helped a lot of people, which is, of course, the goal.”
Qualified senior citizens or handicapped households can receive up to $3,000 for home weatherization or up to $2,000 for exterior or emergency repairs. LaFreniere also said a household can apply for this grant once a year for the grant and can receive a different grant every year.
The program has also seen a lot of positive feedback from participants and LaFreniere said the city has been very helpful to those in need for this program.
Licensed local contractors and other construction outlets can also participate by helping in tasks like installing windows and making repairs to roofs and siding, according to LaFreniere, the application process for this program is also not very strenuous – proof of income and payment of property taxes are required prior to final approval and the applicant must live in the home being repaired.
To apply, prospective applicants need only talk to LaFreniere or Erika Villa to get the process started.
“This is one of the many programs that gives back to taxpayers,” LaFreniere added. “It helps with quality–of–life issues with people on fixed incomes and again, helps the housing stock, which is an issue here in Liberal.”