City expands home repair program

CAPTION: Roof repairs and accessibility repairs are among the eligible projects in the City of Covington’s Homeowner Repair Program.

Up to $10K available to fix threats to health, safety for qualifying owners

COVINGTON, Ky. – A broken water line on Crystal Lake Drive in South Covington. A roof with a major leak on Russell Street in Westside. Repairs to a porch that was threatening to collapse on Augustine Street in Peaselburg.

Over the last 10 years, the City of Covington has helped 124 desperate homeowners with urgent repairs of conditions in their home that posed a threat to the life, health, or safety of people living there.

Now, City officials want to double their efforts.

The City of Covington budget approved for the fiscal year that began July 1 allocates $200,000 to the Homeowner Repair Program with the goal of helping at least 20 qualifying homeowners each year.

In addition, major changes made over the last year make the program more effective, helpful, and readily available:

  • The financial help now comes in the form of a grant, instead of a loan.
  • The maximum amount available per repair has risen from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Household income eligibility standards set by the federal government have risen.
  • And the list of eligible repairs has expanded to include wheelchair ramps, handrails, and other exterior modifications needed to help someone with a disability stay safe in their home.

The program is focused on helping residents who are elderly, have disabilities, are veterans, or have extremely low income. Given the increase in repair costs due to inflation, supply-chain challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shortage of skilled repairmen and women, City officials say the assistance is needed more than ever before.

“Many of the people who receive help through this program simply couldn’t afford these types of necessary repairs on their own,” said City Housing Development Specialist Archie Ice. “Even before prices started skyrocketing, we saw many residents – especially those living on fixed or low income – who struggled to address problems that had suddenly developed in their homes and were threatening their health and safety.”

The increase in funding is one of several places in the 2022-23 budget where the Covington Board of Commissioners saw an opportunity to help homeowners and would-be homeowners during this difficult economy. Another initiative included improvements to the HOMEBUYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

The repair grants are available citywide for owner-occupied, single-family homes whose owners have not received City assistance for housing repairs in the previous five years. Applicants must not exceed income and savings requirements.

Eligible repairs include:

  • Certain electrical problems.
  • Plumbing issues, including broken water heaters and leaks to gas lines, water pipes, and sanitary sewer lines.
  • HVAC problems, including carbon monoxide leaks and malfunctioning AC units and furnaces.
  • Roofs, gutters, and downspouts in disrepair.
  • Accessibility modifications.

How it works

The homeowner is responsible for finding a contractor for a repair (although the City can help) and signs the repair contract themselves. Payment is made by the City directly to the contractor or repair person.

Click on HOMEOWNER REPAIR PROGRAM to see an updated copy of the program guidelines and application.

Before applying, make sure you and your repair are eligible for the program by contacting Archie Ice at or (859) 292- 2124.

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