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Free and Clean: Elderly to Receive No-Cost Minor Home Repair Assistance

Assistance in yard maintanence will be given free of charge to the elderly

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, joined by Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, today announced funding for 2011 to assist elderly residents with minor home repair and maintenance needs such as raking leaves, cleaning gutters, painting, or minor plumbing.

“This county funded, town-run residential repair program provides elderly residents a way to maintain their home and their personal independence,” said Levy. “Through this joint town-county effort, we are helping seniors help themselves.”

The Residential Repair Program is funded in part through the federal Older Americans Act and New York State funds that are passed to the 10 towns by Suffolk County.  Suffolk Countyalso provides a local match with some of the towns to further bolster the program financially. In 2009, approximately 2,791 elderly individuals across the county took part in the Residential Repair Program. Within the first six months of 2010, that number had already reached 1,453, as the county administered $210,994 to the 10 towns to run the program.

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio stated, “The Residential Repair Program benefits all parties. It allows Smithtown and Suffolk County to cooperatively assist senior citizens in the up-keep of their homes at no cost to the citizen themselves.”

Senior citizens, age 60 and over, can receive assistance for minor home repairs through the program. Homeowners or renters can use the initiative to have work done that does not require the skills of a licensed craftsperson.

County funding enables the program to be implemented at no cost to seniors. Individuals receiving the service are not charged for service or labor and must pay only for materials that may be necessary (such as paint, nails, or new smoke alarms).

“This is an excellent program for senior citizens throughout Suffolk because it allows them to keep their properties well maintained and vibrant,” said Levy.

Levy noted that the program is available to senior citizens in every town within Suffolk County, not just Smithtown. For more information, residents may contact the Suffolk County Office for the Aging at (631) 853-8200.

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