Home preservation is an important topic to talk about. As a society, we talk a lot about how to help people who are experiencing homelessness, but much notice is given to keep people in their homes. Housing preservation can mean preventing entire generations from descending into absolute poverty. Especially when a tragedy like the current global pandemic has hit low-income residents especially hard, with people at risk of losing their homes due to financial issues. That’s why it’s so important for the government, both local and on a state level ensure more protection for people who are experiencing hardship. The East Missouri Action Agency has been awarded an almost $150,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development, as one of two organizations in Missouri to receive grant funds of almost $300,000.
EMAA will be using its $149,343 grant to rehabilitate owner-occupied homes in its service area, which is important to help the residents who live there to be able to live in a safe, secure home. 19 low-income and very-low-income homeowners/renters will benefit from this grant in counties such as:
- Cape Girardeau
- St. Francois
These repairs will come through East Missouri Action Agency’s Weatherization and Home Repair program, which is lead by Weatherization Program Director Dave Scheck who spoke on the specific repairs that will be conducted by EMAA:
We’ll be mostly doing roofs with it, probably 12 out of the 19 projects,” he said. “Some siding, some electrical, some HVAC. We had one home that was missing two ceilings of drywall, so we had to go in and do that.”
The housing preservation grant, which is what has been awarded to the EMAA, mostly deals with the exterior of the house. Specifically insulation and sealing:
“Weatherization means, for approved clients, they do testing to see if the home can be made more energy-efficient, seal leaks with weather stripping, spray foam or silicone caulking, replace a window or door or two, test the heating and cooling system, or anything gas in the home we test to make sure it’s safe. We insulate—it’s one of our biggest measures, walls, homes, floors.”
Scheck said that the program already has a wait list, for home-owners looking to be able to get much needed repairs made to their house.