Mayor Mike Duggan stands in front of a home that's getting a new roof through phase one of the Renew Detroit Program in Detroit on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (David Rodriguez Munoz, Detroit Free Press)

The second round of a city home repair program, slated to help 1,000 Detroiters with window or roof work, kicks off Saturday and runs through the end of October.

This story also appeared in Detroit Free Press

The Renew Detroit program, funded by $45 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars, covers home repairs for 2,000 low-income seniors and Detroiters with disabilities.

“If your roof is already secure, but the air is blowing in your windows, we’ll redo it and put in a first class window system,” Mayor Mike Duggan said Friday at a news conference on the city’s east side where roof repair had begun earlier in the day.

Construction for the first phase of the program, which includes 1,000 residents, began last week. Detroit City Council over the summer approved $2.9 million in contracts for the first 200 homes and those are expected to be done by this fall. That roof replacement work will continue through 2023 and 2024.

Among the first recipients is Detroiter Samela Dean.

She’s lived in her home for 16 years. For three years, she’s dealt with a leaky roof. Rain and snow would get into the home and Dean would have to use buckets and towels. The plaster from her ceiling would fall.

“A roof costs a lot and I try to save but then something happens, and saving $20,000 is a lot when you only get Social Security,” Dean, 60, said Friday in front of her home on Maine Street, north of Davison.

Thomac Golden, 57, left, stands next to Samela Dean, 60, and Chelsea McBride, 28, as Dean talks with Mayor Mike Duggan during a press meeting outside Dean’s home in Detroit on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Dean qualified for phase one of the Renew Detroit Program. (David Rodriguez Munoz, Detroit Free Press)

She applied last year for the Renew Detroit program and heard back that she’d been approved in August.

“I am so excited to have a roof and so emotional because I never, ever dreamed this could happen to me,” she said.

The second round will take applications starting Saturday through Oct. 31.

To be eligible, homeowners must be a senior, 62 or older, or a homeowner with disabilities of any age; they must be approved for a 2022 property tax exemption through the Homeowner Property Exemption (HOPE) program, and they must not have received a city home repair grant of $10,000 or more in the last decade.

Homeowners will then be selected based on how long they have owned the home, the number of people in it and the level of their HOPE tax exemption. The program will prioritize those on an existing Senior Emergency Home Repair waitlist or those who were not able to weatherize their homes because of their roof conditions.

Applicants should hear back by spring of next year and repairs are slated to start in spring 2024, according to a news release. Those who are approved will have one major repair done — whether roof or window — based on whichever is the most urgent.

Workers with the DMC Group begin working on the roof of a home that qualified for phase one of the Renew Detroit Program in Detroit on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (David Rodriguez Munoz, Detroit Free Press)

For more information and to apply, go to Residents can apply online starting at midnight. Those who would like to apply over the phone can call the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency at 313-244-0274 throughout October. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

“We’re bringing resources back into the neighborhoods,” said Council Member Scott Benson, who represents District 3.

Earlier this year, the Renew Detroit program received an additional $15 million. Home repairs are a pressing need in Detroit.

An estimated 37,630 Detroit households live in “inadequate” conditions, according to a report from the University of Michigan’s Detroit Metro Area Communities Study. That may look like a home with exposed wiring or electrical issues, a broken furnace or no running water. 

The Renew Detroit program is the first city project to get a slice of the $826 million in federal COVID-19 recovery dollars the city received.

Home repair was among the top concerns Detroiters raised when asked last year how they would like their city government to spend an influx of federal COVID-19 relief dollars. Researchers, residents and community organizations have said existing programs are difficult to tap into and don’t address the breadth of repair needs in the city.

Nushrat Rahman covers issues related to economic mobility for the Detroit Free Press and BridgeDetroit as a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.

Join the Conversation


  1. We applied and the only response we got was, i got your application. No acceptance no denial. We are lifetime Detroiters. We at least deserve an answer.Help us believe you really care

  2. I’ve been in my parents home for 20 years trying to keep the taxes up on it can you help me get the house in my name so I can qualify for some of these programs I would very much appreciate it. At least Point me in the direction I need to take

  3. I’ve moved here in a couple of years ago into my brother’s property I am doing all I can to maintain it and up keeping of it I would love if I can get some assistant through this program no matter if it’s just getting my windows fixed I will really appreciate it and you are staying in my prayer continue to doing a good work I’m just great city of Detroit can I thank you and may God continue forever bless you all God bless

  4. I moved into my brother’s house in a few years ago I’m trying to maintain enough keep it with the best of my ability I would love if I can sign up for this program such as getting my window and roof fixed and I will appreciate it very very much thank you and God bless keep up the good work you’re too old doing in this great City

  5. Applied for the Detroit home repair program an I every year get the tax exemption now the hope program still waiting on the board of review to send my approval letter an a response from the home repair program I am disabled I have been applying since 2010 for the hardship program now hope program I need a roof bad it’s leaking in my home I need windows an the scrappers stole bricks an collapsed my garage needs to be torn down I been living with rats an Abandoned house next door to me owned by the land bank no one cuts the grass an it looks like a forest an trees an bushes hanging in my backyard an I have a tree needs to be cut down I sent my application for hood in June I have emailed them called the board of review sent me a email saying they have my application an I have to wait for the December board of review I am on ssi an social security an a chronic pain patient an recovering from Covid an sick smelling dead rodents in my home basement has water coming in an roof leaks an mold I have copd trigger asthma an arthritis an other health issues an need my home repaired badly I am on a fixed income an can’t afford a roof windows an getting my garage tore down an stopping water in my basement I applied the next day the news aired the home repair program an was told to do the hope program but I sent my application way before the program for home repair was announced I been doing the tax exemption for years I have not heard from the Detroit home repair program yet I applied when it was announced some of us really need help my ceiling falling because of the roof up stairs an Down my home is a two family flat I have black mold upstairs an I paid years ago to dry wall my upper unit now it’s all black mold an affecting my health an my ceiling downstairs I came to fight for justice for my grandmother this house was stripped completely they stole everything my upper unit has no bath tub an sinks I pay every year taxes for a unit not livable an I was also charged twice for 2021 city taxes in which I paid in the exemption hard ship program last year a lady from Wayne metro called to help me last year I topped my taxes was 2.36 an we both call the city an Wayne treasurer they I paid the amount was due an I was fine an in September 2022 I got a pass due bill for 211.00 I just paid I emailed the city an county an Wayne county said I had to pay I have bank statements an receipts showing I paid but I paid it anyway again please put on ur list to get my home repaired an the rats out an tear the vacant house down next door over grown grass an trees has caused me major plumbing problems I had raw sewage in my basement a few years ago I had to get my basement an outside in my yard dug up an no help from dhs or the department I lost clothes washer dryer hot water tank I had to buy a new one last October an my furnace was damaged an I had to buy parts last winter I had no heat an furnace went again I bought more parts my hope application is with the board of review for the December board I have a email from them saying the have it ..THANK YOU ROSEMARY ECHOLS

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