Office of Neighborhood Services
The Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) is founded on five principles. These principles state that the ONS will:
- Build and support neighborhood leadership
- Change the community mindset of advocate neighborhoods
- Focus service efforts on achieving neighborhood stability
- Respect neighborhood identity
- Secure a resource commitment for neighborhoods
Neighborhood Services also administers two programs that provide grants/loans of varying amounts to repair or rehabilitate homes owned and occupied by low or moderate income homeowners. These services are available only to residents of the City of Abilene. Minority and/or women-owned contracting firms are encouraged to participate in this program.
Complete applications (make certain to answer all questions), then submit them with required documentation to the Office of Neighborhood Services.
Critical Repair Program
The Critical Repair Program is designed to assist Single Family owner occupied homes with critical repair problems that are a detriment to life, safety, or health of occupants, which require immediate action. These are homes where handicap accessibility is needed, or with:
- Leaks in roofs
- No water, gas, heat, electrical service
- Open sewers
The Critical Repair Program will only correct problems deemed a critical situation.
Download the Critical Repair Program Application (PDF).
First Time Homebuyer Program
The First Time Homebuyer Program is an income qualifying program which provides up to $5,000 for the down payment and eligible closing costs for the purchase of a home based on your income and family composition. The money is paid to the title agency on the day of closing.
The home you are purchasing must be within the city limits of Abilene, and you must either be a resident of Abilene or work/go to school in Abilene to qualify.
Download the First Time Homebuyer Program Application (PDF).
Neighborhood Revitalization Program
Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) is a new activity to be carried out through the ONS to revitalize the 15 low- and-moderate-income neighborhoods by wrapping income qualified client’s owner occupied homes in Smart Board. ONS will focus on one neighborhood at a time to redevelop those neighborhoods long neglected. Plans are to begin in the Alameda Neighborhood which is an Abilene Neighborhood Initiative (ANI). The same basic information that determines eligibility for the Critical/Limited Program applies for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
Connecting Caring Communities (CCC) has partnered with the City of Abilene, Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) to develop a community driven collaboration entitled Abilene Caring Together (ACT). CCC has partnered with the ONS to carry out the oversight of volunteers and the purchase, inventory and storage of painting materials to work in the low-moderate income neighborhoods. ACT volunteers will paint homes in the 15 low-moderate income neighborhoods that have been resided by ONS approved contractors. The ACT Program will create a positive impact by providing materials and volunteers.
Single-Family Rehabilitation Program
The Single-Family Rehabilitation Program assists with repairs that are needed to bring the home into code compliance. This program is designed for homes that need extensive repairs.
You may be eligible to receive financial assistance for rehabilitation of your home.
The ONS is responsible for administering two federal grants:
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
To remain eligible for the grants, the City must submit a five-year strategic plan - the 2015 to 2019 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development - and the 2015 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice Study- to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in August 2015. The City must submit an annual One-Year Action Plan that outlines proposed projects and allocations for both programs.
In April 2001, the Abilene Community Excellence (ACE) Task Force recommended building upon the existing neighborhood program concepts in the Planning and Development Services. As a result, combining aspects of the Neighborhood Initiatives (CDBG/HOME) Division with the Planning Services Division enables us to develop a more comprehensive Office of Neighborhood Services.