Arlington Heights has more than double the amount of money it had last year to make available to help struggling homeowners make necessary repairs on their homes, officials said.
The Single Family Rehabilitation Loan program had about $114,000 budgeted to loan to homeowners, up from an all-time low of $46,000 last year, said Nora Boyer, housing planner for the village. Of that, $75,000 is still available and the village is encouraging residents to apply, Boyer said.
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The program is funded through federal community development block grants and repayments of former loans, which come back to the village when a house is sold.
Boyer credited a slight turnaround in the economy for the additional funds.
"The past few years we had very few loan repayments because not a lot of homes were selling," Boyer said. "But in the last two years we have had a lot of repayments so our fund levels are much higher."
Applicants can use the loans for electrical, mechanical and plumbing issues, replacing old furnaces and water heaters, roof repairs and accessibility improvements. Decorative remodeling and room additions are not eligible.
The loans are 0 percent interest and there are no monthly payments. Eligible low-income homeowners may qualify for loans for 100 percent of the cost of construction and the maximum loan amount is $25,000, according to the village website.
"The program helps homeowners maintain a home that is safe and comfortable for them to live in," Boyer said. "We have a lot of people who are longtime residents who have contributed to the community, but are struggling to stay in their homes."
The program is also available to senior citizens with fixed incomes to allow them to age in place, she said.
Projects in excess of $10,000 are reviewed by the village's housing commission, while smaller projects are approved administratively.
"It's just something the village can do to tide them over in a difficult time or until they sell the house," Boyer said.
Read more at www.vah.com/departments/planning_and_community_development/. Click on "Housing & Development Block Grant and then "housing programs."