By Alyse Horn

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is offering eligible homeowners in specific areas of Manchester and Central Northside the opportunity to fix-up the facades of their residential property through the Residential Façade Improvement Grant Program.

The property owner is responsible for 50 percent of the project costs and the URA can offer up to $5,000 to match the owner’s contribution. The property owner is also responsible for any excess costs. The application fee to apply is $150 and the property owner must be the applicant. The project must cost at least $500 for the property owner to apply.

To be eligible, homes must be solely owner-occupied residential property, mixed residential/commercial property, or residential rental property. Homeowners must also follow these guidelines: A project must enhance the front façade and any side of the home facing a public street (alleyways and paper streets included); Exterior improvements should preserve the original building design and be sympathetic to the architectural character of the surrounding neighborhood; Roof, landscaping and interior repairs are not eligible.

Eligible improvements can include restoration of architectural details, replacement of deteriorated or in-efficient windows and doors, cleaning and re-pointing brick, painting, removing or repairing awnings, and replacements or upgrades of porches, gutter and downspout repair/replacement, light, etc.

The property where the project will take place cannot have any outstanding municipal debt, and any construction that is started before the application and approval process is completed is not grant eligible.

For more information and to request an application, email qwasler@ura.org or call (412) 255-6550. More information can also be found by clicking here.

Click here for URA Designated Boundaries for Central Northside and here for URA Designated Boundaries for Manchester.