GREENACRES, Fla. — Putting money in your pocket to beautify your neighborhood, that’s what one city is doing with a new grant offered to homeowners and business owners.
For 20 years, Liliana Parages has taken pride in her home and growing garden.
"I'm grateful that I'm living in this country and grateful to have my own place," said Parages.
She moved to Florida from Cuba 20 years ago and bought her first home in Greenacres.
"When we bought the house we didn't have a fence, we didn't have a driveway," said Parages.
Over the years, she and her husband have made upgrades to the property. Now the city wants to invest in homeowners like them. Greenacres has launched the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program which offers to match up to $5,000 in exterior improvements to homes and businesses within the city.
"There's a contagiousness that starts with seeing your neighbor's house starting to look a little bit better. It motivates you to start working on your house and before you know it, the whole block is shining," said Nichole Kalil, Public Information Officer for the City of Greenacres.
Antone who owns property can apply for the grant money by March 1st. It covers landscaping projects, painting, roof work, any exterior upgrades. You do have to put in money upfront, but if your application is approved, the city will match it. The Building Department will run the program and selection of the eligible applicants.
"We would like to do some upgrades around the houses, but mainly the fence around Haverhill [Road] because we want the neighborhood to look better," said Parages.
Living the American dream, Liliana is hoping the grant dollars will allow her to continue to invest in her community and everybody reaps the benefits.
"Safer, and also beautifying the area and the value of the properties are getting better," she added.
To apply for the grant, click here.