Through its Emergency Home Repair Program, the City of Yakima’s Office of Neighborhood Development Services (“ONDS”) helps improve the lives of disabled residents and low-to-moderate-income seniors in the community.  “The Emergency Home Repair Program has a big impact on the day-to-day lives of the people we help,” said ONDS Manager Archie Matthews.  “We’ll get a broken furnace working so they have heat.  We’ll unclog a sewer line so their toilet works.  We’ll upgrade a breaker box so the power supply is safe and reliable,” said Matthews.  “It’s both small things and big things, but they all make a difference in the quality of life for the people helped by the program.”

Federal funding pays for the Emergency Home Repair Program.  Homeowners interested in being part of the program have to apply.  To qualify, applicants have to own or be buying a house within the Yakima city limits. Disabled residents have to meet Social Security guidelines and seniors have to meet income requirements established by the federal government.

All of the costs of eligible projects are paid for through the program.  Grants are provided to qualified homeowners.  There is no homeowner payback required.

Matthews estimates that about 80 to 85 homeowners were helped by the program in 2011.

Applications for the Emergency Home Repair Program can be picked up at the ONDS office, located at 112 South 8th Street.

“Or if people can’t make it to our office, they can give us a call (575-6101) and one of our home remodel technicians will come to their home, do an on-site assessment of any needed repairs, and bring an application for the program with them,” said Matthews.  “The technician can help homeowners fill out the application and answer any questions they may have.”

Qualified homeowners may also be eligible for help with snow removal.  Once the weather warms up, and if funding permits, assistance with yard cleanup may also be available to qualified homeowners.