SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Smith County’s Habitat for Humanity and an East Texas family celebrated the state’s completion of repairs to 1,000 homes through a unique state housing program.
The Lee family of Tyler had the repairs to their home done through a grant from the Amy Young Barrier Removal Program (AYBR), which is funded through the Texas Department of Housing. The funds were used to demolish and replace kitchen cabinetry, install counter tops and new sinks. New flooring was added to the kitchen and bathrooms as well as other repairs to make the Lee’s home more accessible and safe.
The AYBR Program provides a one-time grant of up to $20,000 per unit for home modifications aimed at improving the home’s accessibility for low-income persons with disabilities. Lee’s home was one of 17 households served through Habitat for Humanity Smith County, an administrator of the AYBR program since its inception in 2010.
Jack Wilson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, said that having access to these types of grants can help the 3000 senior citizens’ households in Smith County that own their own home, but live below the poverty line and don’t have the ability to get them fixed.
“We are their safety net. We are particular proud of this program, and we just hope to be able to keep increasing the amount on a yearly basis,” Wilson said. "Our last fiscal year that just ended, we did over 150, so that’s an awful lot. "
Through its home repair program, Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 900 critical repair projects since 2010, making it possible for veterans, seniors, and the disabled to remain safely in their homes
“This program has been so beneficial in allowing Habitat to complete critical repairs for low-income East Texans with disabilities so they can safely remain in their homes,” said Wilson. “We are so proud to be a recipient of this state housing program and hope we can continue to help more of our area residents who need help in addressing the inadequacies of their living environment.”
For more information about Habitat for Humanity, the services they offer, or to find out if you qualify for free home repairs, please call (903) 595-6630, or visit the Habitat for Humanity website.