My city has housing grant (up to $1,000) each spring for exterior repairs - siding, painting, windows, roofs, doors, etc. There is no lien on the property, so essentially it is free money. The homeowner does have to pay either 15% or 25% of the project cost. The application process is very easy - it is a page and a half long, and they also have to submit proof of income and photos. We get about a hundred applications. But most of them are people that do what little they can to keep their house and property nice.
On a side note, half the applications are incomplete and automatically denied, which is fustrating - it is so easy and so clear what is required.
Are people just too lazy, do they not care?
What can be done to combat these issues? How can cities encourage their residents to care? It isn't even always a money issue - it doesn't take money to keep junk picked up from your lawn, so why don't people do it?
What tools do you utilize to encourage pride and investment to residential neighborhoods?