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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
8/8/2005  2:49:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Michael Fong (206) 684-8808


HELPING MORE SENIORS LIVE INDEPENDENTLY
Legislation allows Minor Home Repair Program to serve more seniors

SEATTLE Legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, passed Council today authorizing the increase of $25,000 in Federal funding for the citys Senior Services Minor Home Repair Program.

This will help more seniors get the types of repairs necessary to stay in their homes and live independently, said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Housing, Human Services & Health Committee. This is great news for many senior citizens living on a fixed income.

Lena Bentons front door lock was broken, she needed a new kitchen sink, had plumbing problems and a bathroom drain that needed to be replaced. I thank God for this program, she said. I dont know what I would do if we did not have this wonderful service. I am 82 years old and I cant afford to fix anything around here.

Since 1995, Minor Home Repair has assisted thousands of senior citizens with everything from building wheel chair ramps to fixing leaking toilets. With this additional funding, its estimated that at a minimum, 124 additional repairs for seniors will be made this year.

"The Minor Home Repair program helps Seattle's elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners, said Margaret P. Strachan of Senior Services, many of whom simply cannot afford a plumber or electrician, continue living safely in their own homes.

Rasmussen pursued the additional funding as part of his committees review of human service programs funded through federal grant dollars. The Minor Home Repair program budget was cut significantly in 2002 and 2003 causing a loss of two full-time repair specialists. The current wait time for seniors seeking minor home repairs through this program can be as long as 3-4 weeks. This funding will significantly reduce the backlog and wait period for the remainder of the year. For more information about the program, contact Margaret Strachan at (206) 727-6225.

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