Senior citizens in Perris are eligible for up to $7,000 in grants to pay for home repairs like wheelchair ramps and plumbing and electrical upgrades.
Funding for the Senior Home Repair Program comes to Perris from its Community Development Block Grant stipend, which makes the money available to complete the upgrades at no cost to the homeowner. Residents 62 and older who meet income requirements and own their own homes are eligible.
Maria Teresa Montes, 80, recently benefitted from the program. Montes suffered a stroke six months ago and found herself with limited mobility. She needed a new wheelchair ramp installed, her existing porch widened to allow her to open her front poor and new heating and air conditioning. Montes worked with program coordinators Rebecca Miranda and Luis Natera, who guided her through the application process and maintained contact until the job was completed.
“I’m very happy with the result and I greatly appreciate the City of Perris for making this wonderful program available,” Montes said this week from her Sapphire Drive residence. “I’m very grateful.”
Natera said the City completed about 20 rehab projects last year as part of the senior home improvement project. This year, Perris has sufficient funds to upgrade 40 homes. Perris officials want to publicize the program because many senior citizens could benefit from those improvements. The City wants to make it plain that under terms of the program, improvements are paid for by grant money and that residents will not have to reimburse those costs.
“This part of my job makes me feel good,” Natera said. “A lot of seniors need help with their mobility and this helps them become more self-sufficient.”
Elsie Ramirez, Montes’ daughter, said the improvements help her mom live on her own.
“It’s made the home more comfortable,” Ramirez said.
She praised the commitment of City employees like Natera and Miranda, whom she described as “helpful, understanding and committed to making the process comfortable, quick and efficient.”
“They really improved the quality of my mom’s life,” Ramirez said.
Miranda said she enjoy seeing the change homes undergo during the rehab process. “It’s exciting to help seniors get the things they need to improve their lives,” she said.
More information about the Perris Senior Home Repair Program is available at 951-943-5003, ext. 496.