Making health- and safety-related repairs

However long a home has been owned, it is a major investment for its owner as well as a place of pride. As the houses begin to deteriorate, financial hardship and limited income may not allow the owners to make the repairs necessary to prevent their homes from falling into serious and dangerous ruin.

As houses and their owners age, the infirmities of both can endanger the owner: a wooden porch step that can’t bear any more weight; a sloping floor causing a loss of balance; pieces of ceilings falling on heads; moldy carpets aggravating respiratory problems; a slow gas leak hard to detect.

For the disabled homeowner, getting in and out of a bathtub is challenging and dangerous.

For the low-income senior homeowners in our community, the rising cost of food and health care forces them to defer home repairs and suffer in houses that offer more threat than comfort. Right now, there are more than 7,000 homes in San Antonio labeled substandard — unhealthy and hazardous.

Because Merced exists to champion social justice and serve the poor and vulnerable, the Owner-Occupied Repair Program (OORP) was created in 2002 to make such health-and safety-related repairs.

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The homes we repair can be the first threads in mending together neighborhoods torn apart by poverty, neglect and other circumstances.