New program helps residents whose homes suffered during winter storms

Published on February 23, 2021

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Help is close by for Fort Worth residents whose homes were affected by the recent winter storms.

The Waterline Assistance through Emergency Repairs program –WATER for short – is part of the Neighborhood Services Department’s Priority Repair Program.

“We are adjusting our existing and successful Priority Repair Program to make a nimble move to assist distressed residents who have been impacted by the severe winter storm,” said Victor Turner, director of the Neighborhood Services Department. “Water line repair, gas line repair and water heater repairs are now the priority, and we’ve increased the income limits to 80% area median income.”

Assistance is available for owner-occupied households within the city limits of Fort Worth. The program is for households who have incomes below 80% of area median income; the program may cover repairs for residents who have homeowners insurance coverage as well as those who lack coverage.

Assistance can be rolled out more quickly by using the existing Priority Repair application, Turner said.

This program is different from those operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs for eligible residents. The City of Fort Worth pays contractors who work on approved homes.

The program aims to have work completed within 10 days of a completed application.

Neighborhood Services staff members are standing by to assist residents with their application. In addition to being available on tablets and personal computers, application documents can be uploaded from mobile phone cameras.

To learn more, call 817-392-7548 or visit the priority repair page.

Fort Worth Water SmartRepair

Also, the City of Fort Worth Water Department offers help for low-income homeowners who need financial assistance fixing minor water leaks through a new water conservation program called SmartRepair. SmartRepair complements the city’s Priority Repair Program offered through Neighborhood Services. 

SmartRepair covers minor plumbing repairs, including fixing or replacing leaking toilets, faucets, hose bibs, broken pipes and installation of water-conserving fixtures.

The program is for homeowners at or below 200% of 2021 federal poverty guidelines. Eligible properties must be owner-occupied, valued at less than $300,000 and have an active water account. Applicants must get income verification through the Community Action Partners process to complete eligibility for SmartRepair. Multifamily units and rental properties are not eligible for the program.

Homeowners can access SmartRepair no more than once in a 12-month period, and twice in an applicant’s lifetime, up to a maximum of $3,000 in total repair costs.  Repeat repairs will not be made on the same plumbing pipe or fixture, unless still under warranty, at which time the plumber will be responsible for the cost.

Learn more about SmartRepair and other water conservation programs online by emailing waterconservation@fortworthtexas.gov or by calling 817-392-2417.

 

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