A new picture window in the front of her Royal Oak home is one of the improvements that Kathleen Nasrey received through the Royal Oak Housing Rehabilitation Program.

A new picture window in the front of her Royal Oak home is one of the improvements that Kathleen Nasrey received through the Royal Oak Housing Rehabilitation Program.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Housing repairs available for low-income residents

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 17, 2018

 Nasrey sits in her living room with her grandchildren,  Rylee, 9; Harper, 8; and Monroe, 6 months, on July 5.  Nasrey received new living room floors through  a home improvement program offered by the city.

Nasrey sits in her living room with her grandchildren, Rylee, 9; Harper, 8; and Monroe, 6 months, on July 5. Nasrey received new living room floors through a home improvement program offered by the city.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Royal Oak resident Kathleen Nasrey’s second- story  windows and patio doorwall were replaced through a home  improvement program open to low-income residents.

Royal Oak resident Kathleen Nasrey’s second- story windows and patio doorwall were replaced through a home improvement program open to low-income residents.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

ROYAL OAK — Are you a resident of Royal Oak who owns and occupies a single-family home that could use some fixing up?

The Royal Oak Housing Rehabilitation Program has approximately $770,000 for low- to moderate-income residents who qualify to help finance home repairs through June 30, 2019.

Rehabilitation Finance Officer Debbie Murray said that the program, which has been around for more than 40 years, received more money this year than in the past, and she is hoping to foster more interest in it.

“It’s kind of hard in the city to get low-income people to apply,” Murray said. “We have low-income areas, but we just don’t seem to get a lot of people to apply. I usually do about 30 (per year). We want people to take advantage of it.”

The program falls under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is supported through Community Development Block Grants. It includes grants for exterior work and two types of loans.

The grants for exterior work are available for up to $10,000. Grants are forgiven 10 percent each year for 10 years, and the homeowner must reside in the home for 10 years for the grant to be completely forgiven.

Regular monthly installment loans are available up to $40,000 with no interest charge.

Deferred loans are available up to $40,000, with an interest charge of 3 percent after a deferment period of five years.

For the grants and two types of loans, applicants must be the owners and occupy the single-family homes with graduated limits on total household income ranging from $39,700 for a family of one to $74,850 for a family of eight.

The maximum limit of combined loans and grants is $40,000 per year, Murray said.

“Exterior work includes roofs, siding, windows, driveways, doors, porches, that kind of thing,” she said. “For the interior, we can remodel kitchens and bathrooms and replace what’s there, but we can’t open walls or anything. We can’t do what HUD considers decoration — we can’t paint and we can’t get appliances and stuff like that.”

She said the program also covers the installation of ramps and retrofitting homes to be Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.

Kathleen Nasrey, 68, of Royal Oak, has taken advantage of the program twice in the past and plans to do so again.

She said that she first found out about the program three years ago in the Royal Oak Review.

“It seemed too good to be true, but I checked it out and voila!” Nasrey said. “I’m single, have a disability and I’m old, and I had no way to fix my house. I was looking into condos or an apartment. Now my house looks brand new.”

She said she replaced her windows, shutters, gutters, siding, flooring, patio doorwall, deck, air conditioner and furnace through the Housing Rehabilitation Program. Two of her neighbors also took advantage of the program, she said.

“I pay almost nothing a month, and it saved my house,” Nasrey said. “They did a beautiful job, and Debbie was very patient and very helpful. I got to choose everything — the colors, what I wanted, if I wanted to update. They treated me great.”

For more information, call (248) 246-3292, email debram@romi.gov or visit romi.gov.