The City of Reno launched a new program Tuesday to help homeowners pay for improvements to their homes and properties.

They're giving $225,000 in one-time grants to lower-income homeowners, part of the city's $1 million blight fund. City officials announced the program at a community meeting at the Second Baptist Church in Reno Tuesday.

It was a packed house at the church, and for many of the community members there, this program means hope for a cleaner, safer neighborhood.

"Hope can be contagious, you know," attendee Vanessa Middleton said. "It'll spread."

Homeowners in Reno can apply for funding to fix issues like leaky roofs, broken windows, sewage systems, and fences, or for new paint jobs and landscaping. It gives older homes and older residents a little help.

"I raised all my children here, in the same house," attendee Elizabeth Shepard said. "And I'm still in the same house. The first thing I'd like to have done would be to get my yard in the shape I used to have it in. I am 81 years old, and I can't clean the yard like I used to."

Shepard isn't the only one. Many of the people the city wants to help are living on fixed incomes. City officials say this kind of work pays dividends; savings in code enforcement and savings in law enforcement, since nicer neighborhoods tend to mean less crime.

"When we improve these different homes, it helps everyone," City of Reno Community Development Assistant Frank Perez said. "It helps the entire city."

Perez is going door-to-door, doing outreach in the areas that could use the most help. They're taking applications immediately, and there's no set end date, but the program only lasts until the money runs out.

"I'm going home tonight to fill out this application," Shepard said, "and somebody will have it in their hands tomorrow!"

Applicants must be homeowners in Reno, and fall below a certain income level for the size of the household. Sizes of the grants vary depending on the projects submitted.

For more information or to apply, click here.