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A Deep Dive into the Critical Home Improvement Program: Benefits and Application Process


Critical Home Improvement Program is a lifeline for homeowners who need essential repairs and modifications to ensure their homes are safe and livable. This guide will walk you through the benefits and application process of this invaluable program.

Here’s a quick look at what this program offers:

  • Safety Improvements: Addressing critical issues like lead paint, outdated wiring, and plumbing problems.
  • Financial Assistance: Funds are available for necessary repairs, often at no cost to low-income homeowners.
  • Enhanced Independence: Modifications like ramps and handrails to assist seniors and those with disabilities.

The Critical Home Improvement Program is designed to keep you in your home, living safely and independently. It offers prioritized repairs and modifications, ensuring that essential issues are taken care of first. By focusing on health and safety, it helps alleviate the stress that can come with maintaining older or deteriorating homes.

Applying for this program is straightforward but does require some steps. Make sure to gather all necessary documentation and be prepared to join a waiting list. The intake line, 614-645-8526, is the first step in beginning your application process.

Benefits and Application Process - critical home improvement program infographic roadmap-5-steps

Understanding the Critical Home Improvement Program

The Critical Home Improvement Program is designed to help individuals and families stay in their homes by addressing essential repairs and modifications. Let’s break down the key aspects of this valuable program.


To qualify for the Critical Home Improvement Program, applicants generally need to meet certain criteria:

  • Income Level: Your income must fall within the program’s specified limits.
  • Age: Some programs prioritize seniors or individuals with disabilities.
  • Property Type: You must own and occupy the property needing repairs.
  • Location: Eligibility can depend on where your property is located.

Special groups, such as veterans, Native Americans, and rural residents, may have additional opportunities for assistance.

Types of Repairs

The program focuses on essential repairs that ensure your home is safe and habitable. Here are some common types of repairs covered:

  • Lead Paint Hazards: Addressing lead paint issues to prevent health problems.
  • Roofing: Replacing or repairing roofs and roofing elements.
  • Furnaces and Hot Water Tanks: Ensuring your home has reliable heating and hot water.
  • Plumbing and Electrical: Fixing critical issues with gas, water, sewer lines, and minor electrical repairs.
  • Structural Repairs: Securing bowing or shifting basement walls.
  • Windows and Siding: Replacing critically damaged windows and siding to create airtight and watertight environments.
  • Accessibility Modifications: Installing ramps, handrails, grab bars, and modifying bathrooms to enhance accessibility.

Funding Sources

Funding for the Critical Home Improvement Program comes from various sources, including:

  • HUD Grants and Loans: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funds that are distributed through state and local programs.
  • Local Government Programs: Many cities and counties offer their own funding options for home repairs.
  • Specialized Loans: Programs like the HUD Title 1 property improvement loan and the 203(k) rehabilitation mortgage insurance program help homeowners finance repairs.

Safety and Health Improvements

One of the main goals of the Critical Home Improvement Program is to improve the safety and health of your living environment. This includes:

  • Eliminating Physical Barriers: Making your home more accessible to increase independent living opportunities.
  • Health and Safety Modifications: Installing custom-designed ramps, widening doorways, and adding grab bars and toilet assist railings.
  • Ensuring Structural Integrity: Addressing issues like bowing walls and deteriorated conditions to prevent accidents and injuries.

By focusing on these critical areas, the program not only enhances the quality of your home but also your overall well-being.

Home repair tools - critical home improvement program

Understanding these key aspects can help you determine if the Critical Home Improvement Program is right for you. The next step is to learn how to apply and what documentation you’ll need.

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How to Apply for the Critical Home Improvement Program

Applying for the Critical Home Improvement Program is a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail and patience due to high demand. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through it.

Application Process

  1. Initial Contact: Start by calling the Intake Line at 614-645-8526. This is your first point of contact to express interest and get on the waiting list.

  2. Pre-Screening: During the call, city staff will perform a preliminary assessment to see if you meet the basic eligibility criteria, such as income level, property type, and the nature of the needed repairs.

  3. Waiting List: After the pre-screening, your name will be added to the waiting list. Due to limited funding, there can be a significant wait time. You will be notified by mail when funding becomes available.


To support your application, you’ll need to gather several documents. These typically include:

  • Proof of Income: Recent pay stubs, tax returns, or social security statements.
  • Proof of Ownership: Property deed or mortgage statement.
  • Identification: Government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport.
  • Repair Estimates: If available, initial estimates or assessments of the repairs needed.

Intake Line

The Intake Line (614-645-8526) is your primary resource for any questions or updates regarding your application. It’s essential to keep this number handy and follow up periodically to check your status on the waiting list.

Waiting List

The waiting list ensures that funds are distributed fairly and efficiently. Once you’re on the list, patience is key. The program prioritizes repairs based on urgency and the severity of the conditions. When your turn comes, you’ll receive a mailing with further instructions and possibly an in-home assessment by city staff.

By adhering to these steps and ensuring all documentation is in order, you can navigate the application process with greater ease and confidence. Up next, we’ll explore the benefits of the Critical Home Improvement Program and how it can transform your living situation.

Benefits of the Critical Home Improvement Program

The Critical Home Improvement Program offers a range of benefits that can significantly enhance your living conditions. Let’s dive into the key advantages:


One of the primary benefits is improving the safety of your home. The program addresses critical issues such as lead paint hazards, deteriorated roofing, and faulty electrical systems. For example, lead paint removal not only meets safety standards but also protects your family from the harmful effects of lead poisoning. Similarly, fixing a damaged roof can prevent leaks and structural damage, ensuring a secure living environment.


The program also promotes independence, especially for those with mobility challenges. By funding modifications like custom-designed ramps, widened doorways, and bathroom accessibility improvements, it helps individuals live more comfortably and independently. Imagine the difference a stair lift or grab bars can make for someone who struggles with mobility. These changes can drastically improve daily life and self-sufficiency.

Home Value

Another significant benefit is the potential increase in home value. Essential repairs and upgrades can make your home more appealing and structurally sound. Replacing critically damaged windows or siding, for instance, not only improves energy efficiency but also boosts curb appeal. This can be particularly advantageous if you ever decide to sell your home, as buyers are more likely to invest in a well-maintained property.

Community Impact

Lastly, the program has a positive impact on the community. By helping homeowners maintain their properties, it contributes to neighborhood stability and overall aesthetic appeal. Programs like these have been shown to transform neighborhoods, as seen in Cleveland, where Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Home Repair Program has made substantial improvements. Well-maintained homes reduce blight and can foster a sense of pride and community among residents.

In summary, the Critical Home Improvement Program offers numerous benefits, from enhancing safety and promoting independence to increasing home value and positively impacting the community. Up next, we’ll delve into the common repairs covered under the program to give you a clearer idea of what to expect.

Common Repairs Covered Under the Program

The Critical Home Improvement Program focuses on essential repairs to ensure homes are safe, sound, and accessible. Here are some common repairs covered under the program:

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Lead Paint

Lead paint is hazardous, especially for young children and pregnant women. The program prioritizes removing or sealing lead paint to prevent lead poisoning. This is crucial for creating a healthy living environment.


A leaking or damaged roof can lead to severe structural issues. The program covers roof replacements and repairs to ensure homes are watertight. This includes fixing roofing elements like shingles, gutters, and downspouts.


A functioning furnace is vital for heating homes, especially in colder climates. The program can replace old or broken furnaces to ensure families stay warm and safe during winter.


Faulty plumbing can cause water damage and unsanitary conditions. The program addresses issues like leaking pipes, broken sewer lines, and outdated plumbing systems to maintain a healthy home environment.


Minor electrical repairs are essential for preventing fires and ensuring homes are up to code. The program can fix wiring issues, replace outdated electrical panels, and address other minor electrical problems to keep homes safe.

Accessibility Modifications

For individuals with mobility challenges, the program offers modifications to enhance accessibility. This includes installing grab bars, widening doorways, and adding custom-designed ramps and handrails. These changes help residents live independently and safely in their homes.

By covering these critical repairs, the program ensures that homes remain safe, livable, and up to city housing standards.

Up next, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the Critical Home Improvement Program to help you understand the application process and eligibility requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Critical Home Improvement Program

What types of repairs are eligible?

The Critical Home Improvement Program covers a wide range of essential repairs to ensure homes are safe and livable. These include:

  • Lead paint hazards: Correcting lead paint issues to prevent health risks.
  • Roofing: Replacing roofs and roofing elements.
  • Furnaces and hot water tanks: Repairing or replacing these critical systems.
  • Plumbing and sewer lines: Fixing leaks and replacing damaged lines.
  • Electrical work: Addressing minor electrical issues.
  • Structural repairs: Securing bowing or shifting basement walls.
  • Windows and siding: Replacing critically damaged windows and siding.
  • Driveways and sidewalks: Repairing or replacing to ensure they are safe.
  • Accessibility modifications: Installing ramps, handrails, grab bars, and modifying bathrooms for accessibility.

These repairs are prioritized based on the urgency and impact on the homeowner’s safety and ability to live independently.

How does the application process work?

Applying for the Critical Home Improvement Program involves several steps:

  1. Initial Contact: Call the Intake Line at 614-645-8526 to be placed on the waiting list.
  2. Notification: You will receive a mailing when funding is available.
  3. Assessment: City staff will work with you to determine the priority and scope of repairs needed.
  4. Documentation: Submit required documents, which may include proof of income, property ownership, and other relevant information.
  5. Approval and Scheduling: Once approved, the necessary repairs will be scheduled and carried out according to program guidelines.

Are there income limits for applicants?

Yes, the program has income limits to ensure it assists those in need. For example, Habitat for Humanity MidOhio’s home repair program requires household income to be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Here are the income limits based on family size:

Family Size Max 80% Yearly Gross Income Max 80% Monthly Gross Income
One $57,900 $4,825
Two $66,150 $5,513
Three $74,400 $6,200
Four $82,650 $6,888
Five $89,300 $7,442
Six $95,900 $7,992
Seven $102,500 $8,542
Eight $109,100 $9,092
Nine $115,750 $9,646
Ten $122,350 $10,196

These limits help ensure that the program supports families who need it the most.

In the next section, we’ll wrap up our discussion on the Critical Home Improvement Program and how Ace Handyman Services Charleston can assist with your home improvement needs.


The Critical Home Improvement Program is a lifeline for homeowners needing essential repairs to maintain a safe and healthy living environment. From fixing lead paint hazards to installing accessibility features, this program helps families stay in their homes and live independently.

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But navigating the application process and managing the repairs can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in.

Ace Handyman Services Charleston

At Ace Handyman Services Charleston, we understand the importance of a safe and functional home. Our team of skilled craftsmen is here to help you with both minor and major home repairs. Whether you’re fixing a leaky faucet or remodeling your bathroom, we ensure high-quality, timely, and affordable services.

Why Choose Us?

  • Expert Craftsmanship: Our multi-skilled craftsmen are experienced in a wide range of repairs and renovations.
  • Customer Satisfaction: We are committed to exceeding your expectations and ensuring 100% satisfaction.
  • Comprehensive Services: From minor fixes to major projects, we handle it all with precision and care.

If you’re eligible for the Critical Home Improvement Program, we can assist you in making the necessary repairs to keep your home safe and comfortable. Our team will work closely with you to understand your needs and provide the best solutions.

Don’t wait to make your home safer and more livable. Contact Ace Handyman Services Charleston today for an estimate and let us help you achieve your home improvement goals.


Ace Handyman Services in Charleston is a full-service home improvement company that provides quality workmanship and excellent customer service that offers a wide range of services.

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