Reinvesting in Historic Homes Update Program (ReHHUP)
Who is Eligible?
Any owner-occupied home in the designated program area is eligible to apply for the grant. Home need only be in the designated area. They do not have to be particularly historic or notable.
What Work is Eligible?
The program covers only exterior work that enhances the overall appearance and historic character of the neighborhood. Generally, any work that is visible from the street can be covered by ReHUPP.
Specifically, the program will cover:
Significant landscaping improvement that enhances the house's street presence.
Noticeably enhanced exterior lighting
Modifications to front entry systems, windows, and doors
New or restored facade elements - Cornices, corbels, soffits, etc.
Street visible roof improvements, replacement
ReHHUP is a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization that provides residents of target neighborhoods with grants, loans, and other assistance to encourage them to maintain the character and community of Mount Vernon's historic districts for everyone.
We are currently running a grant and loan program partially funding exterior renovation and repair projects in Mount Vernon’s north side. We are also searching for researchers and writers. These researchers and writers can help us put together a guide to historic home restoration for property owners in Mount Vernon. If you would like to participate as an applicant or volunteer in any of these projects, our contact information and relevant links are listed in the sidebar.
Other work specific details:
Work must be completed within 24 months of application approval
Work can be completed by homeowners but must be bid by a licensed contractor
Work must be in compliance with City codes and building permit processes
How does the Financing Work?
The award will be a one-time, up-front cash payment based on total project costs. ReHUPP is a 1/3 grant, 1/3 loan, 1/3 property owner paid program.
The maximum award will be $10,000 or 2/3 of the lowest contractor bid
Loans will be 0% interest paid back quarterly over 3 years
How do I Apply?
Rolling applications are evaluated on a first-come first-served basis. To begin the application process complete the form below and a ReHHUP representative will be in contact about the next steps. As of May 11, 2023 we have reached the maximum number of applications that we can consider until the next quarter. We will post a new application period in the future.
Applications will be evaluated based on:
Current state of the property
Proposed changes addition to neighborhood character & charm
Ability of the applicant to complete the project and repay funds
Will the Landmarks Foundation help me with my project?
YES! If you are having difficulty finding contractors to bid your project or have other questions about how to complete the project, please contact us. The Knox County Landmarks Foundation may also be able to help you add your home to the National Historic Register or conduct research on the home.
For questions and/or help with the application process please contact:
The North Main Project (2021)
What we are calling the North Main area spans from North Mulberry Street to North Gay Street and from East Chestnut Street up to Elizabeth Street. The ReHHUP Committee is researching the North Main area's potential for an extension of the grant and loan model we developed on Mount Vernon’s near-east side. We are also researching how to design a community building component that can complement the home renovations model used on the east-side.
Why the North Main Area?
The North Main area was added to the national register of historic places in 1990. It is split between two census blocks: the eastern (North Main) block and the western (North Mulberry) block.
The historic housing stock in these census blocks has declined at an appreciable rate in the past two decades. In 2000, 73% of homes in the North Main census block were built in 1939 or earlier. Only 55% of the homes were by 2017. Similarly, 63.1% of the housing stock in the North Mulberry census block was built before 1939 in 2000, and only 37.7% was built before 1939 in 2017. This is unfortunate, because beyond their historic value, old homes are an important source of affordable housing stock; the North Main census block has significantly more affordable rents than census blocks West of it, despite having much higher property values.
This is an area where residents have met at least twice to discuss what they perceive to be the declining quality of the neighborhood in terms of housing stock and a sense of close-knit community. According to the 2017 census, there is a major divide between the high value of homes on North Main and North Gay and the value of homes on adjacent streets. In the block including North Mulberry Street, the number of homes valuing only $35,000 to $39,999 has increased from 2013 to 2017 from 9% to 35%. Midrange valued homes (from $50,000 to $70,000) have decreased from 64% of stock to 37% of stock. Even along North Gay and North Main, many properties in the area have visibly deteriorated.
The attitude expressed by homeowners along North Main and North Gay is that this neighborhood deterioration is encroaching on their streets. They are primarily concerned with the state of a vacant properties in their neighborhood and with rental units, which comprise 37% of housing stock in their census block and 73% of housing stock in the North Mulberry census block. In some cases, residents complain that landlords don’t care to keep up properties, and in others they complain that tenants have no sense of belonging or care for the neighborhood. Tenants and landlords are also important investors in the community, so this is a harmful attitude to the area as a whole. Residents have organized meetings to talk about issues in the neighborhood, but in many ways they feel at a loss to coordinate a response to these problems.
The above reasons are why ReHHUP has selected North Main as the site of a new project area.