Home repair section gets a boost with new partnership

HRRC class learns how to build porch railing.

The mission of Heights Libraries is simple—opening doors, opening minds. Now, by building on an existing partnership with the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), the library will not only be opening doors, but will also show people how to refurbish them.

Founded in 1971, HRRC has provided innovative programs to address the housing maintenance and repair challenges of Cleveland Heights homeowners, particularly those of low to moderate income. These programs include financial assistance, education, skills training, as well as a library full of helpful materials.

HRRC’s library, formerly housed at its Noble Road location, will integrate its materials with those already located in the home repair section at the Lee Road Library. The new HRRC section at the library will supply patrons with interactive books, DVDs and home project instructions.

"[Heights Library] board president, Audrey Cole, and I met with the HRRC board," said Nancy Levin, library director, "and toured the innovative home repair classroom, tool lending library, resource library and loan offices at their Noble location. We were deeply impressed with the facilities and services."

Between June 2010 and July 2011, HRRC helped 234 households make more than $510,500 worth of home repairs, and provided foreclosure counseling and intervention services to more than 350 households. With the library partnership, HRRC hopes to reach an even bigger audience. "Currently our library is accessible only at our Noble Road location," said Kathryn Lad, HRRC executive director. "With the help of the Heights Library, the resources can be more easily reached and we will have longer hours."

HRRC will have a staff member at the Lee Road Library on a regular basis, in addition to the library's regular adult services staff, headed by Chuck Collins. "We’ve been cataloging [HRRC’s] collection in preparation for the change," said Collins. "One thing we’re doing is creating a page on our website where people can print HRRC’s instructional handouts. These handouts include everything from masonry to negotiating a contractor schedule."

The project is expected to be completed in January 2012. HRRC will continue to offer regular classes on homebuyer education to CH-UH residents and plans to expand to other communities in the near future. To find out more, go to www.heightslibrary.org, or pick up a copy of "Check Us Out!" at a neighborhood branch library.

Sheryl Banks

Sheryl Banks is the marketing and community relations manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 10:58 AM, 12.02.2011