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$45M Renew Detroit program kicks off first Phase 1 home repairs, applications for Phase 2 open Saturday


$45M Renew Detroit program kicks off first Phase 1 home repairs, applications for Phase 2 open Saturday

  • Goal of American Recue Plan Act-funded program is to keep 2,000 longtime, lower-income Detroiters in their homes by funding home repairs.
  • Program was recently expanded thanks to $15M in state funding.
  • Phase 2 applications for roof or window replacements are open Oct. 1-31 at www.detroitmi .gov/renewdetroit. 

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan and Councilmember Scott Benson visited today with one of the first Detroit residents getting a new roof through Phase 1 of the Renew Detroit program, an unprecedented $45 million effort to pay for major home repairs for 2,000 low-income senior citizens and disabled Detroiters to help them continue to live in their homes for the long term. The first 200 roofs are expected to be completed this fall.

Originally envisioned to provide major repairs to 1,500 homes, the Renew Detroit program was announced in September 2021, funded by $30 million from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The program was recently expanded to $45 million thanks to an additional $15 million from the State of Michigan. With the additional funding, the program now has the capacity to reach 2,000 homes and will see Phase 2 expanded to allow for window replacements.

Homeowners conditionally selected for Phase 1 had their homes inspected this summer in preparation for construction. The Detroit City Council approved $2.9 million in roof replacement contracts in July for the first 200 homes, and the contractors began replacing roofs last week. The City will continue Phase 1 roof replacements throughout 2023 and 2024, with Phase 2 repairs following in 2024-26.

“One of my most urgent priorities is keeping longtime Detroiters, who could have left the city but didn’t, to remain in their homes. Many of them are senior citizens who simply can’t afford the cost of a new roof or all new windows to make their home safe for them,” Mayor Duggan said. “Today is a demonstration to these residents that their city is here to support them.”

Renew Detroit contractors completed the first three roof replacements last week and are working on several more this week. Mayor Duggan and Councilman Benson of District 3 visited with Samela Dean at her on Maine Street north of the Davison, which is getting a new roof through the Renew Detroit program. Ms. Dean, a disabled homeowner on a fixed income, has owned her almost 100-year-old home since 2007, but couldn’t afford to get a much-needed new roof.

Ms. Dean applied for Renew Detroit on the first day the application was available after a friend heard about it on the news and told her about it. “I love this program,” she said. “I'm getting a roof, and I’m excited. Now that I have a new roof, I’ll be able to take care of other repairs my home needs.”

Unprecedented investment

Before Renew Detroit, the City was able to complete 200 to 250 annual home repairs through its Community Development Block Grant-funded Senior Emergency Home Repair (SEHR) program. With demand far exceeding the funding available, Renew Detroit was launched last fall and taps American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to further address this great need in the community.

In July, it was announced that five Detroit lawmakers – Democratic state Reps. Helena Scott, Shri Thanedar, Karen Whitsett, Tenisha Yancey and Stephanie Young – helped earmark $15 million in state ARPA funding to expand Renew Detroit from $30 million to $45 million, thus helping 2,000 Detroiters, instead of the initial 1,500, over its two phases.

“Living in Detroit has its privileges,” Councilmember Benson said. “This program allows us to fill in gaps for homeowners who need repairs but can’t get bank loans. These repairs will improve the health and safety of Detroit residents, enhance the architectural beauty in our treasured neighborhoods and increase property values.” 

In addition to increasing the program to help more Detroiters, the extra funding allowed the roof-replacement program to be expanded to also include new windows. Detroiters who are approved for the repairs will have one major project performed, whichever is deemed most urgent.

Roofs remain the greatest home repair need in neighborhoods across the city. Eighty percent of SEHR repairs involve new roofs, and 50 percent of Detroiters who apply for home weatherization grants are turned down because of the condition of the home’s roof. A leaky roof can lead to major internal home deterioration, mold, and poor energy-efficiency and the higher utility bills that come with it. 

Phase 2 applications open Saturday

Applications for the Phase 2 of Renew Detroit open tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 1, and close Oct. 31. Those who apply will have their application outcome communicated by spring 2023, with repairs expected to begin in spring 2024.

Full details and applications are available at Applications can be filled out online or completed over the phone by calling 313-244-0274 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays in October. Additionally, Renew Detroit staff will be out in the community helping residents apply.

“The Renew Detroit program is designed to begin connecting the dots of available homeowner resources for our residents, even beyond our home repair program,” said Heather Zygmontowicz, chief of Special Housing Programs, who oversees the program. “By focusing on roofs and windows, we significantly increase the likelihood of residents gaining access to weatherization upgrades and increasing their home’s energy efficiency.”

To be eligible, homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a senior homeowner, age 62 or older, or be a disabled homeowner of any age.
  • Be approved for a 2022 property tax exemption through the Homeowner Property Exemption (HOPE) program, which provides property tax relief to eligible lower-income homeowner occupants. For eligibility requirements and to apply, Detroiters can go to detroitmi .gov/HOPE. Please note, homeowners must apply each year for the HOPE program.
  • Must not have received a home repair grant from the City of $10,000 or more in past 10 years.

After meeting these initial criteria, homeowners will be selected based on a Home Repair Score, which includes length of ownership, number of people in the home, and level of their HOPE tax exemption. The City also prioritizes applicants on the existing SEHR waitlist or who were unable to secure weatherization improvements because of the condition of their roof.

Help for those who don’t qualify for Renew Detroit

For those Detroit residents who need home repairs but do not meet age/disability, income or no-prior grant requirements, the City offers the Detroit 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program. This program provides loans to Detroit homeowners of $5,000 to $25,000 to complete home repairs and resolve health and safety issues. Homeowners have 10 years to pay back the loans, which are provided at 0% interest – meaning homeowners pay back only what they borrow. The program is a City-led partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) launched in 2015. This public-private commitment is between LISC, the City’s Housing & Revitalization Department, Bank of America and the Rocket Community Fund.  To apply, go to

City seeks Detroit contractors

Not only will Renew Detroit assist Detroit homeowners, another goal of the program is to provide opportunity to Detroit-based contractors to perform the $45 million in repairs. The City has run outreach events to engage local contractors to perform the repairs, and includes opportunities as prime contractors and joint ventures.  Contractors are encouraged to get their business certified as a Detroit-based or minority owned company at Interested contractors can submit their contact information to be contacted about future Renew Detroit contract opportunities at www  For anyone wanting to start training to do construction work as part of Renew Detroit, call 313-962-WORK or visit

If you’re a community partner seeking Phase 2 promotional materials or wanting to help get the word out about Renew Detroit’s Phase 2, email  [email protected] to request to be added to the stakeholder list