Merriam to bring back home improvement grants in 2020, will begin accepting applications Jan. 2

Home renovations can be pricey, but some northeast Johnson County homeowners will have another opportunity to receive help funding home improvement projects in the new year.

The city of Merriam is bringing back its exterior home improvement grant program in 2020. The program provided funding assistance for improvement projects for 28 homeowners in 2019.

To be eligible, homeowners must invest minimum of $2,500 in combined repairs or renovations. The city will reimburse homeowners for 20% of their investment, from a $500 reimbursement to a maximum of $2,500. The 28 homeowners who participated in the program in 2019 invested a combined total of $335,000 for exterior improvement projects.

The city has allocated a total of $50,000 for the grants, which are available to homeowners who are up to date on all property taxes and can provide proof of property insurance, according to the city website.

In addition to the minimum requirements for the homeowners, there are certain projects that qualify for a Merriam exterior home improvement grant. Those projects include new paint or siding, a new roof or fence, and driveway or window replacements. The grant money may not be used for the following: masonry or foundation improvements, lawn care, patio furniture, play equipment or a new pool.

Once a resident submits an application, the city will contact the applicant to discuss projects, take photos and inform the applicant if any permits are required for the proposed projects. Bids must be submitted prior to approval, and applications must be approved before construction can begin.

Construction on a project must begin within 120 days after an application is approved, and all projects must be completed by Nov. 1, 2020. The city will conduct an inspection to confirm the project has been completed and is compliant with city code prior to reimbursing applicants.

There is no income requirement. The community development department will begin accepting applications on Jan. 2 at 8 a.m., and will continue to accept applications until funding runs out. Once funding has run out, the city will create a waiting list for those who qualify.