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🏡 LCC's popular home improvement grants go live Wendesday

The popular program helps pay for home improvements and is open to people earning up to 80 percent of the area's median income.

Longfellow Whatever
2 min read
🏡 LCC's popular home improvement grants go live Wendesday
A flyer for the home improvement grant program from the Longfellow Community Council, which punches above its weight in the graphic design department.
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The Longfellow Community Council is opening up another round of its popular home improvement grants on Wednesday, May 1, at noon.

The first-come, first-served grants of up to $5,000 are available for residents making 80 percent or less of the area median income — for example, $68,500 for a one-person household or $97,800 for a four-person household — to make a variety of improvements to their owner-occupied home.


LCC has increased its grant offerings in recent years, spending down funds that have been on the books since the heyday of neighborhood group funding in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

Last fall the group made $92,000 available for home improvement projects, citing the neighborhood's aging housing stock and the importance of ongoing maintenance.

The grants were first offered to residents making less than 50% of the area's median income (AMI), which used about half of the pot. But bumping the income limit up to 80% of AMI triggered a surge of interest the day that round opened: The first application came in a few minutes after midnight, and by 7 a.m. the funds were exhausted.

In response, the LCC Board proposed moving $76,000 from an expired fund to offer another round, which neighborhood voters approved in the Board Election earlier this month.

How it works

This round will open Wednesday, May 1, at noon. Recipients can receive a rebate of 80 percent of the cost of their project, for a total of up to $5,000.

As with the last round, timely submission will probably be important, because the grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.

Grant criteria

Income limit: Your household income can't exceed 80 percent of the AMI:


Home type: It can be basically any type of dwelling, but must be owner-occupied.

Repair type: The grant covers most genuine repairs, and excludes purely cosmetic or recreational additions like patios or pools. It doesn't cover things like furniture or plantings. It can cover multiple jobs.

For instance, Vanessa Walton, who's been artfully documenting the renovation of her traditional bungalow on the Instagram page @myminnebungalow, used her grant funds to install a new water heater, refinish a bedroom floor, and repair a ceiling. (She's also enhanced her curb appeal with a snazzy Longfellow Whatever lawn sign. No grant needed for that —just drop a line if you'd like a free one!)

You can read the full requirements and download the application at the LCC website.

Speaking of the LCC Board

A slate of new and returning members were elected recently:

  • Newly appointed
    • Eleanor Cotton (Cooper)
    • Jess Schaberg (Longfellow)
    • Kristin Green (Longfellow)
  • Re-appointed
    • Christine Marlo-Trimesta (Cooper)
    • Mike Berger (Hiawatha)
    • Dana Koponen (Hiawatha)
    • Kristin Green (Longfellow)
    • Beverly Conerton (Howe)
    • Annie Wang (at-large community representative)
    • Ken Koense (business representative)

They all ran unopposed for the 12-member board. You can read more about each of them in the group's voter guide. Kath Lenk (Cooper) and Selam Tilahun (Longfellow) are the other two members, who will be up for re-election next year.

The Board meets the third Tuesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. and the meetings are open to the public.

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