Need More Brushing

Aug 22, 2014

Housing is an issue that makes the news in Hutchinson plenty, and mostly it’s bad news lately. An exception is the Brush Up Hutch program the city administers.

The program makes it possible for income-eligible homeowners to receive up to $300 for paint and other supplies to paint their homes. It’s a great way to spruce up the city, and many homes are in need of a good coat of paint.

That’s the good news. The bad news is participation has lagged this year, for whatever reason. So far, only six projects have been completed this year, compared to 10 a year ago at this time. Plenty of time remains, and 16 more projects are in the pipeline. Several of those likely will be completed by volunteers during the United Way Work Day later this month. Still, that would leave the program short of the 24 projects completed in 2013.

Granted, that was the most in the project’s history, which dates back to 2011. During that time, 46 houses have received a fresh coat of paint. Of that total, about half were homes of elderly or disabled people who couldn’t do the work themselves, so volunteers pitched into paint.

Because of liability issues, the city can’t coordinate volunteers to paint houses. The city is working with Interfaith Housing and the Hutchinson Community Foundation to try to create a volunteer coordinator position for the program at Interfaith.

Interfaith has applied for a grant from the Community Foundation that, along with money from the city, could provide money for the position and make it even better. Let’s hope that works. Brush Up Hutch is a good program that could be even better to help the sorely needed sprucing up of the city.

Huchinson News