(Shelby County, TN) Millions of dollars are pouring into Memphis and Shelby County to help neighborhoods and neighbors like Brenda Thomas, who bought her home is 2003, "It needs to be winterized. I bought it under a foreclosure."
Shelby County plans to use $600,000 in areas like Northaven.
Half of the money will be grants used to repair roofs, fix heating and air, replace windows and doors, insulate and install wheelchair ramps.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said it's the first defense against blight, "The blight that is currently there is the problem today. But we have to help those people who are moving down that road that might be a problem tomorrow. That is what half of this money is for."
To get help, you have to own and live in the home to be repaired, and be current on taxes, mortgage payments and homeowner's insurance.
You must also meet income guidelines.
Some fear a lot of people will be left out, since homeowners in foreclosure can't qualify for the grants which come as part of a legal settlement with Wells Fargo Bank.
"It's gonna help some of the people, but it's still gonna leave a sore in Northaven because you can't use the money for just the house. You can only use it for the repairs. You can't use it to pay your back taxes. You can't use it if you are behind in your mortgage," says Rene Rockiemore of Northaven.
There is a short window to apply for the home fix-up grants.
The deadline is October 29, 2012.
For an application go to www.shelbycountytn.gov/index.aspx?NID=388
The remainder of Shelby County's $600,000 will be used to clean up existing blight, including cutting grass, removing overgrowth and cleaning up trash and debris.