Home Improvement Supplement Program (HIP)
Weekdays, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Katsitsoronkwas Thompson – Administrative Assistant
Sandra Benedict – Program Manager
Wilfred J. Bay - Director
Mission: “To meet Community demand for home repairs through enhanced capacity building, efficient, effective, professional service delivery, accountability, and collaborative partnerships.”
Vision: “Safe and healthy home environments that preserve culture, promote quality of life and create self-sufficiency for the families that we service.”
HIP Program Callout, Application and Instructions for 2023/2024
Home Improvement Division Components:
The Home Improvement Division (HID) provides an array of home repair assistance to low-income families who occupy privately-owned housing, and that are identified as the highest priority on the southern portion of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. Services are prioritized to serve the elderly (55 years and older), disabled, homes with children, and low-income with eligibility based on enrollment, residency, land ownership and income guidelines.
Home Improvement Program (HIP):
In 2022, the HID offered its base Home Improvement Program (HIP) to assist Elderly, Low-Income Families and Disabled Tribal Members with needed repairs and renovations to improve quality of life and address any safety issues within their home. Call outs are done twice a year and applications are taken in order to formulate a listing of annual projects for the program to tackle. A fully completed Application is required on all Home Repair and Emergency Home Repair requests. Applications are scored to reflect level of need and priority. An annual priority list is comprised of those community members who are in most need of repairs. It is a point-based system, which prioritizes the elderly and the neediest families. Services are in such high demand, that at every years end the HID finds itself with a wait list that carries over into the next year.
Emergency Home Repairs:
In addition to applications for annual assistance, the HID assists with Emergency Home Repairs on a case-by-case basis. Emergency Home Repairs include a focus on, but are not limited to:
• Electrical Problems
• Weatherization Issues
• Handicap Accessibility
The HID focuses solely on the building envelope, replacement of roofs, replacement of windows to energy efficient windows, bathroom modifications for the elderly, handicap modifications, doors, floors, siding, ramps, hot water tanks, etc. to address health and safety issues that arise during the year.
Healthy Homes Initiative:
The HID also has funding, in 2022, to offer a Healthy Homes Initiative (SRMT HID HHI) that provides comprehensive, home-based healthy homes intervention services, which provide for air quality testing, hazards abatement and interim control measures within each housing unit, to include performance of a Healthy Homes Rating System assessment and intervention plan. Home projects are eligible to receive a base install that may include smoke alarms/detectors, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide, radon and air quality detectors. The HID also promotes for public education, through community outreach, and regional partnerships.
New Construction/Stipend Assistance:
The HID has funding support, annually, from the BIA to be able to support one or two new construction projects for those applicants, within the program, that demonstrate the highest need and priority. With inflationary market trends, and increases in the costs of materials, funds are often not enough to provide for the entirety of the project, therefore necessitating cost share by the homeowner. In 2022, funds were utilized to assist a homeowner with the purchase of a modular home, where the homeowner applied for and secured a line of financing, and the HID provided for the down payment and the cost of putting down a slab. With every year, types of assistance for new construction projects vary.
In addition to new construction, some Tribal Members who own land, and are seeking to get away from paying rent, to work towards building or buying their first home may be eligible to receive stipend assistance from the HID. With stipend assistance, which was established in 2018, the HID helps the Tribal Member with costs associated with their home project, up to a certain dollar amount, such as $10,000. Stipend assistance often serves to help the Tribal Member get over any challenge areas or hurdles on their home project, and help them towards their end goal on the home project. Stipends projects are dependent on the annual availability of funds, and on client eligibility.
For more information about the Home Improvement Division and the Services we provide, please contact us at: 518-358-2272.