May 13, 2013
The Housing Development Alliance (HDA) hosted its 14th annual Repair Affair on Saturday. The event, which has traditionally involved the participation of 100 volunteers to repair 10 houses in one day, expanded to 131 volunteers working on 12 houses, making it the largest Repair Affair the organization has ever held. Rapairs included replacing porches, digging drainage ditches, and building wheelchair ramps.
While the HDA completes repairs for local families every day, not everyone that comes in seeking repairs qualifies for the low-cost loans associated with their normal repair program. According to Jane Rose Britton, volunteer and community coordinator for the HDA, the Repair Affair acts as a chance to help community seniors and disabled persons that may not be helped in any other way. Work completed during the Repair Affair is free to these homeowners.
“The Repair Affair allows us to make repairs to homes that may not qualify for any of our normal repair programs,” said Britton. “It gives us a chance to work on those homes and help those people out.”
Along with the ways that Repair Affair helps those families receiving the repairs, it also acts to engage Perry County residents to make a difference in their community.
“It gives us a chance to make the people in the community feel empowered,” said Britton. “It helps make the people in the community realize that their actions can make a difference. They don’t just have to sit by and watch something happen. They can be physically involved, and if they can’t do it physically then they can do it via donations.”
According to Britton, the significant growth in this year’s Repair Affair was due to an increased interest in volunteering from local organizations and churches. With an additional 31 people coming out to volunteer, the HDA increased the number of families they served in this day.
“The need is always so great in this area that finding 12 houses that needed repairs was not an issue,” said Britton.
While finding the projects was not an issue, funding them would be difficult. Thanks to an extensive outreach campaign and active charitable community in the area, the HDA was able to raise nearly $14,000. Many of these donations came in the form of products or services donated in-kind from businesses.
“The businesses are where we get our major donations from every year,” said Britton, “It just seems like we are getting more in-kind this year than we ever have.”
The Housing Development Alliance is a nonprofit organization working in Perry, Knott, Breathitt, and Leslie Counties. In the 20 years have been in existence the organization has built 178 new homes, completed over 400 repairs, and developed 35 affordable rental properties.