Clarkston Affordable Home Repair Program
Critical Home Repair Stories
David is a retired veteran who found himself in need of costly home repairs. After speaking with the neighbor across the street who also had repairs done, he learned about the Clarkston Affordable Home Repair Program. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity and their partnership with the City of Clarkston, David was able to improve the safety and energy efficiency of his home.
David’s house was given a new roof and gutters, all new vinyl windows, a new slider and back door, and the vinyl floor in his kitchen was replaced with laminate to match the flooring throughout the rest of his home. He said, “Habitat saved me a lot of money. I got an all new roof, new windows, and a new slider. I wasn’t planning on doing the windows, but they replaced those too. By replacing the roof now, I am able to avoid significant repairs in the coming years.”
David shared how he has already noticed a significant reduction in his power bills, and his front porch is much safer now that there is a gutter to prevent water from dripping on his stairs. He said, “This program is a great thing. I used to be able to do roofing when I was younger, but I can’t do that kind of work now.”
One of our early projects was done for Nora. Her home required many critical repairs including roof and gutter replacement, tree trimming, and a dangerous front porch. She had a plumbing leak under her bathroom and a dangerous deck. We were able to reframe exterior doors for increased energy efficiency, add additional floor support, replace flooring and baseboards in one room, and install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in the home.
Nora told us “The ramp was a Godsend. I had fallen off of that step so many times and hurt myself. They made the ramp big enough so that it came all the way up to my door and added a handrail.”
On many of our projects, we coordinate with Community Action Partnership for other critical repairs. In this case, we were able to ensure Nora got a new gas furnace and electrical repairs that were necessary as well.
Do you believe in angels? Well, I do believe that some of the absolute best hardworking and talented Earth Angels work for the L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity. They are real and tangible people that came to help in an answer to my prayers for a new roof and a solution to my crumbling foundation. As a widow, I wasn’t able to do the work nor afford the replacement costs on my own. I honestly had no idea of how I was going to get this huge job completed or paid for.
The L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity came in and made it all become a well-done reality. Each worker was incredible as they worked extremely hard to replace my old roof in the ridiculously sizzling summer temperatures, repair my crumbling foundation, install a floor-entry basement door with an electric winch, as well as replace some old and outdated electrical wiring. Thank you very much L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity. You are incredible human beings that came as my Earth Angels to care, to help, and to improve my quality of life to create a much safer and more comfortable home for many years ahead.
After seeing a flyer for the Clarkston Affordable Home Repair Program through L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity, Tammia took a chance and applied. Her house was originally built as a shed in 1910, then later converted into a home. Unfortunately, that meant that the structural integrity of the property was less than idea for a home that would last over 100 years.
After the initial inspection, it became clear that significant improvements were needed to the foundation. The northeast corner of Tammia’s two-story home was sinking into the ground. The floors in her kitchen and bathroom were so sloped, she could “take a marble at one corner of the room and it would roll all the way across to the stove.”
Our contractors completely removed the floors in the kitchen and bathroom and used jacks to raise the sinking corner of the house. Rain and snow melt from the roof over many decades became a factor contributing to the sinking structure. New gutters and downspouts were installed on the east and west sides of the home. We also repaired damaged and rotted fascia.
Tammia shared how these repairs gave her peace of mind and a sense of security. Her bedroom is upstairs above the kitchen. She said before the repairs she knew that “one of these days this house was just going to collapse and I’d be landing on the stove.” Now, she can rest easy knowing that her home is structurally sound and will last for decades to come.
Cookie’s home needed numerous repairs when we completed our initial inspection. Initially, we believed that we would need to regrout her shower
and bathroom floor. When it came time to begin the work, we discovered that the water damage from the absence of grout in the shower had caused
significant structural issues. A sink hole was developing under her shower pan and it was only a matter of time before it gave way! We were able to reinforce the subfloor, replace the tiled shower with a new fiberglass unit, install an exhaust fan, and replace the bathroom flooring. Water from the shower will no longer be an issue.
While working on Cookie’s home, we also replaced the exterior door to her basement, supported sagging floor beams, installed an egress window,
updated some of unsafe electrical outlets, installed gutters, and caulked the siding.
These critical repairs will make it safe for Cookie and her daughters to live in the home for years to come.
Becky purchased her home in 2015 as a HUD repossession. Over the last 7 years, she has slowly been making improvements to the home. A couple of years ago she refinanced her home to replace all of the old single-pane windows. Since then, the roof began leaking around the skylights and into the rafters. Her home had significant mold issues, which was causing problems for her grandkids with asthma. Becky has her son, daughter, and grandkids living with her. Becky’s back porch did not come all the way up to her door. There was a large gap that caused many people to fall and was a safety hazard for her grandchildren.
Becky shared a story about one rainstorm that was so severe she couldn’t go to bed. Water was pouring into her house from around the skylight and filling buckets as fast as she could empty them. And because the leak was in a large area, there was no way to catch all the water. Her entire bathroom was soaked, floors, counter, vanity, everything. She also told of having no power to half of her home. She had power to the kitchen, living room, and a few other spaces. However, there was no power to a couple of bedrooms and the bathroom.
When she saw the flyer for the Clarkston Affordable Home Repair program, she “didn’t expect to be accepted for the program.” She thought about it for a week or so before applying. It was a difficult decision for her because it forced her to set aside her pride and ask for assistance.
We were able to perform mold remediation, provide her with a new roof, replace the rotten soffit with new vented material, pour a new concrete back porch with a hand rail, and restore power to the other half of her home.
When asked about the impact repairs had on her family, Becky said “it is huge” not having to worry about leaks or mold anymore and to know that she won’t have to try to find the money to replace the roof herself. She also noted “It can be embarrassing and bring you down a couple of notches. But if you need, the help ask for it.”
David is a 75-year old Veteran who purchased his home through the VA in October 2016. Since that time, he completed several home repair or upgrade projects. But, he reached a point where he could not do the “big stuff” either physically or financially. That’s when he turned to L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity’s home repair program.
He doubted whether he would be accepted for the program when he first heard about it. After learning that they were providing a roof and other major repairs for the neighbor across the street, he had enough confidence to apply. Qualifying brought relief that his home would be fixed.
When he applied, he knew his roof was in desperate need of replacement. There was no plywood sheeting under the 3 wavy layers of shingles on the home. Some shingles had been lost during inclement weather and water was leaking into his attic. His electrical also needed an upgrade. He describes the former electrical in the basement as a “spaghetti mess of old wires.” His bath and kitchen fans were not vented to the exterior of the home, just adding to potential problems. There was also a noted safety hazard from a crumbling chimney.
The Habitat for Humanity team went in and tore off the roof, all the way down to the trusses and installed a new one, including plywood underlayment. The unused and dangerous chimney was removed to below the roof line. Structural issues resulting from water damage in the attic were repaired. Gutters were either repaired or replaced, and a drain field off the downspout was created to prevent flooding in his backyard. New electrical work was installed in the basement and pulled into the attic. New GFCI receptacles were placed in the kitchen and bathroom. A header was added to the basement access door, which didn’t have one previously. Both the bathroom and kitchen fans were vented to the outdoors to prevent moisture issues in the future. A new handrail was installed on the front porch and on the stairs leading down to the basement.
All in all, David can’t say enough about the Clarkston Affordable Home Repair Program. “Habitat has been great, just great. They are good people and helped me in a lot of ways. They provided me with peace of mind because I don’t have to worry about the roof leaking or someone getting hit by a brick falling from the chimney. The program helped me immensely, making my home warmer and safer. It saved me money I didn’t have.”
Brenda purchased her Clarkston home 3 years ago. She has done numerous projects to upgrade her home in those 3 years, but found that many repairs and projects were beyond both her skill level and financial means. One day, she came home to a flyer on her gate about the Clarkston Affordable Home Repair (CAHR) Program. Because she needed some “big stuff” done to ensure the safety of her home, she decided to apply for help.
L-C Valley Habitat and our subcontractors addressed the lead paint on the exterior of the home through mitigation and a new coat of paint. We also installed egress windows in the basement, new front and back doors, a handrail on the front porch, and added sheetrock to the ceiling in the basement.
When asked how the CAHR Program impacted her, Brenda said “It is an amazing program. The whole process was great, not at all difficult. Habitat really helps people and what you have to give back is next to nothing. This is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I never would have been able to complete these projects without Habitat for Humanity. I really appreciate it.”