A helping hand is nice when things get difficult, especially in a tight economy. The Belfast Rotary Club has a program, funded by the Mid-coast Council of Realtors, to assist Waldo County homeowners who need extra help repairing and maintaining their residences.

The Safe & Sound program offers home maintenance that will help keep people safe and sound, including repairing or replacing broken windows, broken steps and leaking roofs, as well as ensuring proper ventilation, providing insulation, skirting around mobile homes, repairing floors that may be unsafe, providing wheelchair ramps and repairing heating systems.

There are only three qualifications: Applicants must live in Waldo County, must own their own home or mobile home, and also must fall within the HUD low-income guidelines. A one-person family earning up to $20,500 can qualify for the grant, and a two-person family can earn $23,450. A four-person family can earn $29,300, and a six-person family can earn up to $34,000. The larger the family, the higher the income eligibility.

Generally the grant money does not have to be repaid, unless the home is sold within the first year after receiving the grant, and is sold for a profit.

Monies to fund the grants are raised through an annual golf tournament and walk-a-thon organized by the Mid-coast Council of Realtors and the Council’s annual Christmas auction.

Grant applications may be obtained by calling Jaret & Cohn Real Estate at 338-4220. Ask for extension 205. Or talk with a local Realtor. The deadline to get applications in is Friday, July 9.