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Curb Appeal Project

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With support from a Hormel Foundation grant, the Austin HRA is announcing the launch of a new program: CAP (Curb Appeal Project)

The intent of CAP is to pay a portion of project costs to Austin property owners who will make qualifying exterior improvements to the front/street side of their home, increasing its curb appeal which benefits the entire Austin community. There are income limits to participate in this program.


Between $1,000 – $5,000. Homeowners must pay at least $4,000 of their own funds to be eligible to receive the minimum grant amount of $1,000 from the HRA. These dollars do not need to be repaid; this would be a one-time grant.

Grants will equal 20% of the applicant’s individual project, grant amounts not to exceed $5,000. If work is being done by the home owner material costs qualify, but any tool costs will not be eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Owner-occupied, single family homes in the City of Austin.
  • Current on property taxes.
  • Property value is less than $200,000 based on Mower County estimated property value.
  • The bulk of these projects must be visible from the street in front of the house.
  • None of these projects can be part of an insurance claim.
  • CHIP I or CHIP II Loans cannot be used for this program.
  • Work cannot begin until approved by HRA.
  • These grants will only be awarded to an individual once.

Possible Qualifying Projects (20% grant)

  • Front door, storm door, and/or garage door Sidelight windows by front door
  • Columns at front door
  • Covered front porch
  • Brick, stone, or shakes
  • Alter roofline on front of house
  • Permanent landscaping (includes tree trimming, removal and replacement of overgrown and/or dead items, planting new trees, shrubs, plants and/or flowers) Driveway, sidewalk (repair or replace)
  • Window boxes, shutters (add or replace)
  • Screening of utility boxes and/or garbage and recycling cans
  • Fence (add, repair, or replace)
  • Windows (only front windows would qualify)
  • Chimney repair, tuck-pointing, repointing
  • Deck/Porch – front or side yard – visible from front of house (repair or replace)

Income Limits

These will be the same as the CHIP II Program.

Household SizeIncome
1 Person$65,000
2 Person$75,000
3+ Person$85,000

Based on the 2017 Housing Study there is a need to maintain our aging housing stock and the HRA feels this will help put another tool in the toolbox to keep this work going.