Helping Elderly, Disabled Keep Their Homes

The National Association of Realtors® and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have named Lexington, Ky., a 2009 Ambassador City for the success of two homeownership programs, Repair Affair and the Remodeling for Access and Mobility Program. The programs help low-income homeowners make much needed repairs and modifications.

RAMP and Repair Affair are initiatives of the Realtor®-Community Housing Foundation of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors®. The foundation helps individuals achieve their dreams of homeownership

“Realtors® build communities and care as much about keeping families in their homes as they do about getting them into homes,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “The home repairs and modifications done by the RAMP and Repair Affair programs are crucial to helping area homeowners live independently and remain in their homes. These two programs have been incredibly successful and could be easily replicated in cities and towns across the country.”

Repair Affair is an annual event that helps low-income elderly homeowners with repairs to the exterior of their homes. Many elderly homeowners live on fixed incomes and often cannot afford high home maintenance costs; if conditions become unsafe, elderly homeowners may be forced to move from their homes. Since 1992, the initiative has helped nearly 600 elderly homeowners stay in their homes.

RAMP installs accessible ramps and wheelchair lifts for low-income people with mobility impairments or disabilities, providing more than 150 homeowners to date with safer, easier access in and out of their homes.

The majority of funding for the two programs is provided by an annual grant from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Repairs and modifications are completed by Realtors®, the Remodelers Council of the Home Builders Association of Lexington, and various community volunteers.

At an event today, Realtor® Len Ferber, 2009 chair of the Housing Opportunity Committee, and Realtor® Jayne Cox, NAR Region IV vice president, joined Dustin Joyce, Council for the New American City, to present the Ambassador for Cities plaque and a $5,000 check to 2009 Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors® President Gale Fulton, RCHF President Karen Mundy, and Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry.

NAR and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, through its Council on the New American City, launched the Ambassadors for Cities program in 2003 to encourage cities and local Realtor® associations to form partnerships to promote affordable housing and homeownership.

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