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More funds may be headed to home repair program in Syracuse

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News (file photo)

The Syracuse Common Council is expected to vote Monday on whether to allocate more money to a popular housing program.

The measure would take some of the American Rescue Plan money earmarked to help Syracuse home buyers with closing costs and redirect it to the SHARP program. SHARP provides grants to homeowners to help them with repairs.

Commission of Neighborhood and Business Development Michael Collins said the closing cost program has other sources of funding, and the SHARP program could use that additional $142,500.

"It's not that closings are down,” he said. “It's that when it comes to the amount of money that we've allocated on top of what we typically allocate with CDBG (community development block grant), we're just trying to meet the need where it is."

The program is run through the non-profit Home HeadQuarters. Common Councilor Pat Hogan said the demand is high, and these specialized programs are a big help to homeowners.

"Anytime we can use ARPA funds to build new housing or to aid in people staying in their homes, especially folks who are long in years to repair their porches, repair their steps, places where they've lived for years, we're OK for the thing,” he said.

A major study is underway to analyze housing challenges in the city of Syracuse. Collins said it’s expected to be finished in June.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.