WENATCHEE — Harold and Catherine Olsen can get around their modest home on Cascade Street a lot easier these days.
Gone are the crumbling front steps, the leaky roof, the unfinished rooms with exposed wiring and insulation, and the deteriorating asbestos siding.
The home got a nearly $50,000 overhaul this fall as part of the city’s Housing Rehabilitation Program, a federally-funded program that fixes up homes for low-income people.
“This has been such a blessing for us,” Catherine Olsen said in a recent interview.
Their home fell into disrepair over a number of years after Harold Olsen suffered two heart attacks and an aneurysm. A city code enforcer noted structural damage to the home while inspecting south Wenatchee neighborhoods last year. The home was eligible for the repair program because the Olsens are on low fixed incomes.
The repair work got under way in August but was delayed by smoky conditions from wildfires fires in September. It was completed in late October.
The contractor replaced the front steps, walling in a room off their living room that once housed a barber shop, replaced windows, fixed water damage in their bedroom, and removed a dilapidated overhang over their front door.
The Olsens kicked in $4,000 — much of it charged to credit cards — to do painting and other cosmetic work and some plumbing work. The only work that is not complete is painting, carpeting and other finishing work in the former barbershop room. Harold is just getting over a bout of pneumonia and has been unable to do the work, Catherine said.
That work will have to wait, she said.
“This has taken such a load off our minds worry about all the things that needed to be fixed and not being able to pay for it,” she added. “This has made a world of difference for us.”
Michelle McNiel: 664-7152