The City of Topeka is accepting applications to remove and replace defective public sidewalks through a cost-sharing plan of 50 % paid by the City, and 50% paid by the property owner. Additional funding assistance may be available for those who are income-qualified. (See details below)
General Qualifying Criteria for the 50-50 Sidewalk Repair Program
- The property must be classified as residential, i.e. multifamily 4 units or less.
- The sidewalk must be in violation of the city standards for sidewalk maintenance and or ADA standards. Violations include a 1-inch or more trip hazard, uneven brick surface, a severe cross slope that would be dangerous for pedestrians and those in wheelchairs, and concrete that has badly deteriorated.
- Brick sidewalk replacement is allowed in historical areas but not on a 50/50 percent basis because of the higher cost involving brick. The City’s share will be determined based on 50% of a concrete sidewalk. All other costs associated with brick replacement will be the responsibility of the property owner.
- The project does not include the cleaning of brick sidewalks or the installation of ADA accessible ramps.
- Property owner’s cost share must be received prior to the property being added to the list unless homeowner qualifies for funding assistance.
- The property owner must not have outstanding construction permit violations and no outstanding indebtedness to the city.
Funding Assistance Available to Qualified Property Owners
As of June 1, 2022, the 50/50 Sidewalk Repair Program changed to allow Funding Assistance to Income-Qualified Households. Homeowners may qualify to have their out-of-pocket costs waived to fix non-compliant sidewalks under the following guidelines:
- Must meet the General Qualifying Criteria above.
- In addition to meeting the General Qualifying Criteria, the following criteria must also be met to receive funding assistance:
- The residential property must be owner-occupied.
- Applicant household income must not exceed 80% of the current annual median household income as determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Topeka.
80% Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person Limit* $46,350 $52,950 $59,550 $66,150 $71,450 $76,750 $82,050 $87,350 *Income limit is determined by HUD and may change from year to year.
How the funding assistance works
- If the property owner’s cost-share (50% of sidewalk cost estimate) is equal to or less than $1000, a grant by the City of Topeka would be applied to the overall repair cost. There would be no cost to the homeowner.
- If the property owner’s cost-share (50% of sidewalk cost estimate) is more than $1000, a deferred mortgage loan would be recorded against the property to secure the City’s interest in the property.
- If the property is sold, traded, transferred or refinanced within 5 years, the loan is due in full to the City of Topeka. After 5 years, the City will remove/forgive the lien upon notification by the property owner.
Applying for the 50-50 Sidewalk Repair Program
There are several ways to apply:
- Online – Fill out this fillable application form and hit submit.
- Email – Print this application form, fill it out, scan it, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail – Print this application form, fill it out, and mail it to:
50/50 Sidewalk Program
620 SE Madison, 2nd Floor, Unit #7
Topeka, KS 66607
- Phone – Call City of Topeka Engineering at 785 368-3842
All applications will be reviewed and the applicant will be notified if the application is incomplete. If the application is complete, a construction inspector will be dispatched to the site to determine the scope of work and estimated cost of repairs, including the property owner’s portion. The property owner will be notified once those determinations have been made.
Additional information about the 50-50 Sidewalk Repair Program
Total funding for the 50/50 Sidewalk Program in 2022 is $100K as approved by Governing Body in the Capital Improvement Budget. The $100K covers both City’s share and any income qualified match share. It will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. City staff will review the 50/50 program funding level at the end of this year and suggest revisions, if needed, during the 2023 CIB process.
If a property is located in a priority area of the Topeka Pedestrian Master Plan or Neighborhood Plan as determined by the Planning Department and/or is slated to be improved in the near future by a public improvement project, the city may elect to waive homeowner’s share but complete project in future at city expense.
Some limited funding is available under the City’s infill sidewalk program and Dreams program that is used to repair sidewalks or construct sidewalks where no sidewalk currently exists. These areas are prioritized in the Topeka Pedestrian Master Plan or Neighborhood Plan as determined by the Planning Department.