Habitat Critical Repairs Lighten the Load In Every Way

Chris Grant, a 74-year-old Renton native, was worried about how he would pay for needed repairs on the home he’s occupied since 2006. His 40-year-old carpet was causing him breathing problems and some of the home’s exterior features were dangerously deteriorating.

The steps outside of his house had pulled away allowing rain to pour into his crawl space, and they were treacherously slippery. Rotting wood on the exterior of his home needed replacement to prevent further damage; and he could no longer climb a ladder to clean his gutters. “The prospect of fixing these problems was wearing on me for a couple of years,” he shared.

This summer, Chris became curious about Habitat for Humanity vans he saw at some of his neighbors’ homes, “Then, somebody left a Habitat flier on my doorknob, and I contacted Ms. Madison.” Madison Vernon, Habitat’sHomebuyer Selection Program Coordinator, walked Chris through the application process. Habitat staff and AmeriCorps volunteers started repairs on his home just a few weeks later. Chris was surprised at the speed of the process, only about six weeks from start to finish. “I was fortunate that my request went in at the same time they were working on my neighbors’ houses,” he said.   

The Habitat/AmeriCorps crew did, indeed, apply efficiency in Chris’ Renton neighborhood.  They worked simultaneously on his home and three others nearby, which allowed them to tackle similar and specialty projects on all four homes at once. Chris was pleased with the work they did on his home, from replacing rotting wood on the outside to closing a leak caused by a gap in his front steps and replacing that old carpet with laminate flooring. They even trimmed an overgrown bush that was encroaching on his house.

“The place looks like a million bucks now…all the way to the sidewalk,” he said. And much of that old worry is relieved. “Thanks be to God Habitat came around and took away a lot of that agony.” All told, the repairs Habitat staff and AmeriCorps volunteers applied to Chris Grant’s home would total nearly $9,500, which he received at a fraction.

Now a ‘lighter,’ Chris Grant can be seen photographing favorite scenes around his hometown… when he’s not cuddling with his beloved 4-year-old rescue pup, Coco.  

To learn more about Habitat SKC’s Repairs program helping low-income individuals address critical home repairs while allowing seniors to “age in place” click here.