Cedar Rapids Wants To Give $1 Million To Program Helping Residents Repair Homes
The scope of the damage in Cedar Rapids from the August 10, 2020 derecho is hard to comprehend if you don't live in the city. Three homes within three blocks of my home are getting new siding right now due to the storm and the amount of work still to be done is mind-blowing. The City of Cedar Rapids is hoping to help some local homeowners with money from a relief package.
KCRG reports that Cedar Rapids wants to give $1 million that the city is receiving from the newest COVID-19 Relief Package to a local program called PATCH (Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners). The program was started two months after last year's derecho and helps homeowners make needed repairs.
Just how much work still needs to be done in Cedar Rapids? One contractor shared with my neighbor this week that he still has 200 siding and/or roofing jobs on his schedule. That's incredible when you consider Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of the storm, but there's simply too much demand and not enough people to do all the work and in many cases not enough supplies... not to mention many people have had issues with their insurance companies.
The American Rescue Plan, as the newest COVID-19 Relief Package is known, will pay Cedar Rapids approximately $28 million, according to KCRG (via the National League of Cities). The $1 million the city has earmarked for residents is designed to help those who don't have the money to make necessary repairs on their homes. Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz says the money "really fills the gap. And addresses the gap, and I'm just very pleased we can make this contribution today." The Cedar Rapids City Council must approve the money going to PATCH. They'll consider it at their next meeting on Tuesday, August 10.
The City of Cedar Rapids plans to use other money from the relief package for flood prevention, housing, social services, as well as housing. More money could also be added to PATCH at a later time.