A little over a year ago, Development Services Dir. Ruth Mayday and her staff began working on the ADOH Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program, something Mayday had been involved with for several years when she held a similar position in Prescott Valley.
When Council passed Resolution 14-1034 in May, 2014 it opened the door for the Development Services staff to apply for and receive the HUD grant, then go out and find eligible recipients.
Applicants are required to meet strict HUD requirements, which include owner occupancy, the homeowner could not hold an interest in any other real estate, and their income needs to be less than 80 percent of the local average.
The resolution says that repair and rehabilitation cost must be between $1,000 and $45,000 per residence, with mobile or modular home replacements less than $55,000 per unit. Mayday said the average cost for repairs per unit is between $25,000 and $30,000.
The bid process for this project began earlier this year, with several repairs now in progress. All of the projects are being handled by local contractors.
Mayday said the primary focus of the rehabilitation program is safety for both the homeowners as well as their neighbors, but the community as a whole will see some benefit too.
“Number one, it’s a safety issue, a fire hazard,” said Mayday. "In many areas, these mobiles are very close to each other and if one catches fire the damage to surrounding units is almost immediate. We’re trying to repair or replace sub standard, pre-HUD homes and thereby removing a safety hazard.”
Mayday says local business owners may see a benefit too, since with smaller scale projects like this, contractors often find it beneficial to shop locally for supplies.
“Compared to new home construction, these are relatively smaller projects,” said Mayday.”So this project is, one, helping out the homeowners, and two, and helping out some of our smaller independent contractors by keeping their employees working in what may have been their down time.”
Some of the HUD and Town objectives include removal of hazards that threaten the health and safety of occupants, weatherization to meet Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) standards, and replacement of obsolete plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Examples of work not allowed by HUD include anything considered a luxury item, such as fireplaces, swimming pools, and decorative counters or flooring.
Robert Anderson, owner of Koyuk General Contractors of Prescott Valley, has worked with Mayday on many HUD projects in the past.
As one of the bid-selected contractors, Anderson said working on these projects has given him a greater appreciation of what the applicants struggle with.
“Many of the people we’re helping out are older, frail, and on a limited income, and they just can’t do this kind of work themselves,” said Anderson while working on a North Peppertree Place home this week. “On this house, we’re doing new windows, getting them much more energy efficient. That will save them a lot of money on their electrical bills. We’re also bringing them up to code on the porches and steps, making sure they’re safe and sturdy.”
Anderson said some of the homes he and his crew have worked on for HUD have also suffered water damage and mold issues, creating serious health hazards for the homeowners.
For more information on the ADOH Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program contact Mayday at 928-636-4427 or visit www.chinoaz.net, and click the Development Services tab.
More information on this and all ADOH programs is available at www.housing.az.gov.