Paint and Fix-Up Program back for second year in La Crosse - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

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Paint and Fix-Up Program back for second year in La Crosse

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The Paint and Fix-Up Program is back for a second year in the City of La Crosse. The program is sponsored by the Neighborhood Revitalization Commission and gives homeowners an $800 reimbursable grant to repair and improve their home’s exterior.

“We have older homes in the city,” said Tim Acklin, Senior Planner with the La Crosse City Planning and Development Department. “A lot of them are post World War II homes. We don’t have a lot of new housing stock. They’re older and they need some work.”

The purpose of the program is to bring new life to La Crosse neighborhoods by enhancing the appearance of the homes within them.

“There’s this whole philosophy that if your neighborhood looks nice and is kept nice people are going to think it’s a nice neighborhood, and they’re going to move in,” said Acklin. “And then you’re going to have families moving here and so on. If it looks bad and it’s not kept up people aren’t going to want to come and live there.”

The grant can be used to replace windows, fix crumbling walkways, re-paint, even towards a new roof. And any homeowner in the City of La Crosse can apply. The money cannot be used on landscaping or to add external elements to a home like a fence or gutters if they are not already there.

2014 will be the second year for the Paint and Fix-Up Program. Acklin said last year it was a huge success.

“I had nothing but positive feedback from the majority of the applicants,” said Acklin. “That they were happy to do this, they were able to do a project they hadn’t done, some even expressed that they were embarrassed that their house had gotten that way. They just hadn’t had the means to do it for whatever reason.”

Last year close to 80 thousand dollars of grant money was awarded to improve over 120 properties. Besides the positive feedback, applicants also said their home-improvement projects sparked their neighbors to do the same.

“The idea is that we get the money out there,” said Acklin, “people can fix it [their homes] up, and maybe the next door neighbors see somebody else fixing up their houses and they say ‘oh, I need to fix up my home.’ And then there’s a domino effect too.”

This year, there’s only 50 thousand dollars of grant money available but Acklin said at good 60 plus homes should be able to see improvements nonetheless. But those interested in program should apply as soon as possible.

The grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis. And last year, applicants had to be turned away because there was so much interest.

If you would like to apply for the program you can find more information at City of La Crosse website at http://www.cityoflacrosse.org/index.aspx?NID=706.

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