Home Repairs for Neighbors in Need

Sept. 20, 2019
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Communications and Public Affairs

Another decade has come and passed, which means in 2020 the United States will complete another census. 

Although it may seem routine, your census participation is about more than just counting a number — it has the potential to help more of your friends and neighbors receive vital assistance from programs and resources funded by federal grant money.

It happens through block-grant funding from the federal office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Congress appropriates these funds to local governments for various types of community development. The formula that determines how much funding is distributed to each jurisdiction uses numbers pulled directly from the census — such as a community’s total population and number of low-income residents. 

You can see these grants working in Chandler through a variety of programs and services, such as one that helps provide emergency repairs and home modifications to vulnerable residents.

A rusted, broken HVAC unit, replaced for a Chandler resident during summer months.

The City’s Emergency Home Repair Program offers homeowners with low-to-moderate incomes a grant of up to $10,000 to assist with emergency repairs that pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the household. 

With Arizona weather, home issues that may constitute an emergency are diverse. The program offers residents assistance with HVAC, roofing, electrical and plumbing repairs, or anything else that may be necessary to prevent injury, illness or dangerous living conditions. 

These funds also may assist Chandler residents who are disabled. A similar City program aids qualifying residents with home modifications to remove accessibility barriers, which may include stairs, narrow doors, unreachable light switches, lack of grab bars or other inhibitors.

“These HUD grant funds provided to the City of Chandler allow those most in need — families or individuals with limited or fixed incomes — to be able to remain in their own homes, which may have become unsafe,” said Rick Smith, housing rehabilitation specialist with the City of Chandler. “This prevents them from having to relocate or live in hazardous or life-threatening conditions.”

Census Impact on Chandler Home Rehabilitation Programs

A repair of damaged wood, replaced for a Chandler resident.

Funds for home rehabilitation programs and other community assistance resources bring much-needed aid to vulnerable residents throughout Chandler. Eligible applicants receive funds on a first-come, first-served basis.

In funding year 2018, 24 households received assistance from block-grant funded home rehabilitation programs in Chandler. The City expended a total of $382,265.87 for these projects, a number that is likely to change after factoring in 2020 census data.  

Participating in the census can help ensure Congress is working off accurate population data when allocating federal funds. Ultimately, an accurate census count can help make sure Chandler receives enough money to assist community members in need.

Get Involved in the 2020 Census

On a national level, census data helps with the allocation of federal funding across 55 programs, including the National School Lunch Program, federal student loan programs and many more.

On a state level, Arizona receives a total of $2,959 from the federal government for every resident counted, from infants to young children to older adults. In total, the state receives more than $20 billion annually for programs directly impacted by the census. The more people counted, the more money each community stands to receive.

Get the answers to frequently asked questions and learn more about how you can participate in the census from iCount2020.