The first Great Bend Economic Development Inc. Brush Up Great Bend project is in the books, and it was a success, said GBED President Sara Hayden. The program aims to help low-income homeowners in painting their homes.
For the inaugural effort, the home of Robert and Ruby Wright was selected to be tackled on a late June Saturday. Robert had tried to paint their house himself but, being elderly, he couldn’t climb the ladder.
“They were a wonderful couple,” Hayden said. “They were very appreciative.”
As part of its effort to improve the community’s housing picture, GBED’s Housing Task Force launched this, marking its first initiative.
“This program will provide grants to enable homeowners in a lower income bracket to paint the exterior of their homes,” Hayden said.
“This program is, of course, intended to help homeowners, but also, it has the ability to establish more community pride,” she said. “I know we’re all proud of the place we live, and this is one opportunity to show it outwardly.”
Through Brush Up, Hayden said they hope to identify critical repairs needed and assist homeowners with solutions, enhance the value and prolong the lifespan of homes, and improve the condition of houses in Great Bend neighborhoods.
This program is operated on a first-come, first-serve basis while funds are available. Priority will be given to elderly and/or disabled homeowners.
“We want people to apply,” Hayden said. “We’d love to get those projects in place.
There are income requirements, but GBED will provide the paint. If a homeowner is able, they must do the work themselves, but if they are elderly or disabled, volunteers will get it done.
“The main goal with this program is to improve the quality of homes in Great Bend,” she said. “By enabling homeowners to improve their curb appeal we are enhancing the overall look and feel of our community.”
This is just the beginning, she said. They plan to offer incentives to developers, new homeowners and other existing property owners. “We hope to soon expand and be able to offer programs to incentivize building on in-fill (bare) lots and improve unsafe or inefficient windows/roofs, etc. with many more to follow.”
What are the requirements for Brush Up Great Bend?
• Applicants must own and have their primary residence in the property for which they are applying for assistance.
• Applicants must be current on property taxes.
• Applicants must be at or below 200% of poverty.
• Eligibility is based on household income relative to federal low-income guidelines.
Annual income guidelines are: Households of one, $32,513 or less; households of two, $37,163 or less; households of three, $43,920 or less; households of four, $46,425 or less; households of five, $ 50,138 or less; and households of six, $53,888 or less.
What is the application process?
• Applicant will turn in the completed application and proof of income.
• Staff will assess the home, take pictures and purchase paint.
• If applicant is elderly or disabled, staff will coordinate volunteers or professionals to paint the home.
• Once painting is complete, staff will assess the home and take pictures.
• All labor must be accomplished by the homeowner unless the applicant is elderly or disabled.
• The total cost of paint and supplies cannot exceed $1,000.
Homeowners interested in applying to receive funding to paint the exterior of their home must apply through Great Bend Economic Development at www.gbedinc.com/housing. There is a link that says “Apply Here.”
For more information, call GBED at 620-796-2407 or email email@example.com.
The address is 3111 10th St. in Great Bend.