Fix It First’s investment is repaid by the recipients through very low-interest loans structured at an affordable rate, according to the news release.
“With a focus of efficiency and durability improvements, this investment is promoted as a long-term cost savings on future energy bills and costly deferred repairs,” Epicenter officials said.
Local volunteers have joined with those from all over the country who have traveled to Green River to help on projects. Lutheran congregations from Park City and Boulder, Colo., helped when the program was just beginning in early 2013 and 30 young adult volunteers from Bike & Build helped to complete three projects in just one workday in August, officials said.
Over the past few months, Fix It First staff members worked to complete projects before winter set in. Those projects included installing new windows to replace four western-facing, single pane, drafty windows in the home of a single mother of two. The front door at the home was also repaired by adding weather-stripping and repairing a gap at the base of the door.
The program’s final project of the year was a small roof repair for an elderly woman in Green River. A swamp cooler and porch addition had created roof problems for a number of years, so the leak-prone section was completely covered by new flashing. The seams were then sealed and left to dry before the snowy season began. The homeowner noted that the repairs solved the leaks in the roof.
Epicenter’s Fix It First program began in response to the city of Green River’s 2012 Housing Plan, which found that 46 percent of the housing stock is in need of critical repairs.
“Without these repairs, homeowners are living in substandard, inadequate, and/or unhealthy homes,” Fix it First officials said.
The group “helps the moderate- to low-income and elderly homeowners in Green River keep their homes safe and healthy by providing the up-front cost and labor for small, but critical, home repair projects.”
Funding for this revolving loan program is provided through private grants and in-kind support. Income from home improvements is used to fund more Fix It First projects.
For more information about Fix It First, call 435-564-3330, or visit www.ruralandproud.org.