Syracuse looks to help residents improve and buy homes through ARPA funds

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Syracuse is aiming to help homeowners improve their property, and also put owning a home in reach of more families. 

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is proposing $7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds help homeowners and potential homeowners, according to a release sent by the city. 

“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.” 

The Council’s Economic Development Committee will consider the proposal at its standing committee meeting on Thursday, August 12. 

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 $20,000 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. 

Mayor Walsh will also ask the Council to authorize ARPA spending at its August 3 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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