The city of Cortland could potentially bring forth two programs to assist with repairs of homes and sidewalks in the area.
Led by third-ward councilperson and city mayoral candidate Bruce Tytler, the proposed programs are known as “build back better home” and “build back better sidewalk,” he added.
The “build back better home” program would allow city residents who own single-family (owner-occupied) homes to borrow up to $5,000 (with a 1% interest rate) for house repairs. Residents would then pay back the loan over five years, which Tytler said can be broken up into paying $80 per month.
“(The program is) self-sustaining and it would replenish itself,” Tytler said.
Tytler is hopeful this program would last five years. The first two years (in 2022 and 2023) could be funded by the city’s American Rescue Plan Act money, with $200,000 in ARPA funds in place for a revolving loan fund for homeowners. Funding for the last three years is to be determined, Tytler said.
“This program is exciting because it would put $1 million to use for home repairs,” Tytler said. “If homes are repaired, it could improve housing stock in the area and become more attractive in the housing market.
The “build back better sidewalk” program would include $100,000 in ARPA funds set aside to help aid residents in replacing or repairing city sidewalks. The program could match between $1,500-2,000 to help residents pay for sidewalk repairs, Tytler said.
Tytler mentioned he hopes the city of Cortland Common Council will approve each of the programs in the near future.