Josh Stealey said he's lived in his house for two years but has never been able to use the basement.
"Right now it's just storage. Nobody's using it and nobody wants to go into a creepy basement where the floor is falling apart." Stealey explained.
Through the Self-Help Housing Rehab program offered by the Northeast Community Action Center, NECAC, Stealey is learning how to renovate his basement.
He said, "I did a little drywall and siding when I was younger but I've never done flooring or anything or a demo like this."
NECAC Officials said through a USDA Grant, they purchase the supplies for all kinds of projects, like insulation, or any other kinds of remodeling work. Then, the homeowner provides the labor.
"If he has other flooring issues, through other things that we're doing, he's learned at the same time that he's been able to fix his own home." said NECAC deputy director Carla Potts.
While this program benefits the homeowner, it also benefits the rest of the community. Home improvements often increase the property value resulting in more property tax revenue for city services like fixing streets.
"Taxes are the lifeblood of a city. they can't fix streets. They can't do all of the services we want unless they get taxes so it's a win win for everybody." added Potts.
Stealey said he wouldn't be able to renovate the home without NECAC's help.
"I wouldn't have the knowledge or the finances to even tackle this project. So they stepped in and it's a blessing." he stated.
If you would like to sign up for this program, the qualifications are the same as NECAC's weatherization program. With your application, you'll want to bring proof of income, a copy of a utility bill, and a copy of a recorded deed to the property to your local NECAC office.