The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 28, 2013

Neighbors appreciate city's assistance


DANVILLE — Virginia and Henry Walsh of Mabin Street know all too well how far their Social Security checks go each month for necessities such as food and utility bills.

When it comes to taking on home repairs, those are more difficult issues with a tight budget.

The Walshes were one of the families this year to receive financial assistance through the city’s Community Development Block Grant funding program for home rehabilitations and accessibility modifications.

“(The city) put in a new furnace, air conditioning and a water heater,” Virginia said about the approximately 20-year-old pieces of equipment that were in their home.

“The main thing was a new roof, which was very nice,” she said.

The Walshes also were asked about installing a ramp for better accessibility in the back of their home off the deck. They have a little porch and three steps down to the back yard.

Virginia said they told city officials, “We don’t need the ramp.”

So, the city replaced a handrail to offer more steady assistance.

“We do not want it to be wobbly,” she said.

Virginia said about $20,000 in work took about three weeks, in February/March.

Virginia said the CDBG program to help homeowners is wonderful. She said her husband first read and heard about the program. He then went to city hall to see if they qualified.

“It’s really a good program,” Virginia said.

The Walshes have lived on Mabin Street for about 60 years.

The Miller residence on Hillside Drive in Holiday Hills was another residence to have recently received assistance.

Eileen Miller said their house received new siding, windows, a roof, safety rail for the front door area and there also was plumbing and electrical work completed.

She also really appreciates the new bathroom safety rail.

Vermilion Heights Neighborhood Association co-president Debbie Jacobson said she’s glad residents in her neighborhood will next be able to benefit from the program, too.

She hopes some older residents who have been home owners for a long time in the neighborhood will see some nice investments to keep their homes in good condition for years to come.