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Free Course Teaches Homeowners How To Fix Their Houses

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A free home maintenance class is teaching city homeowners all about plumbing, electricity and tiling. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.

Julian Allgood moved into his house in Rockaway, Queens four years ago.

"I have an older house and it needs repair so it was a good opportunity for me to do this," he says. "Not only that, my wife signed me up."

Allgood is one of 14 people who come to St. Gertrude's Gymnasium once a week to take part in the Free Home Maintenance Workshop. The program is organized by the Housing Partnership Development Corporation and the Margert Community Corporation.

Walter Mullins has been teaching the class for the past seven years.

"The students that come here, they learn how to do all the labor, save that whole cost, enabling themselves to fix their houses by themselves," Mullins says.

The eight-week course teaches electricity, plumbing, tiling and much more to low and middle-income homeowners. No previous experience is needed and students like Allgood says it gives them a sense of fulfillment.

"It will be self-pride to do something myself," he says.

Mullins says the course isn't just about home improvements and repairs. It is also about knowing how much something costs when you do need to call a contractor or repair person.

"When a contractor tells them it is going to be $1,000 to install this fan, they say 'wait a minute, I know it should be $100, maybe $200 but not $1,000,'" Mullins says. "They become better-educated consumers."

"I feel like I would know the basic of what something would cost so nobody can gouge any pricing," says participant Nathia Beltran Piscinn.

The course is offered four times a year. If you’re interested, visit housingpartnership.com.

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