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April 9, 2013 > Housing rehabilitation loan programs

Housing rehabilitation loan programs

By Frank Addiego

Low-income homeowners, whose properties need repair, may qualify for loans at 3 percent or lower, depending on family size. Some cities administer a Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program, funded mainly by the federal Housing and Urban Development Department's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant.

CDBG funding was signed into law in 1974, enabling cities labeled "entitlement cities," usually those with populations of at-least 50,000, to better their communities. Milpitas, Union City, Fremont and Hayward are entitlement cities.

Alameda County has a program for Fremont, Newark and Union City residents. Union City also has a program that focuses on a handful of types of rehabilitation. According to Union City's Housing Community Development Coordinator Vern Smith, over the next few years, as the economy improves, the City can begin to augment the program again; in the meantime, homeowners interested in securing a loan are advised to do so through Alameda County.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must qualify as low or very low income. HUD puts the figure at 80 percent, or less, of the median annual income of the resident's city or county. Homeowners in the very low category of 50 percent, or less, of the median annual income may apply for reduced interest rates. The City of Milpitas' program offers zero-percent interest for very low income applicants. Loan approval also depends on factors such as age, disability status, etc.

The majority of those who use the program are seniors, according to Milpitas Housing & Neighborhood Preservation. The City has funded 219 loans as part of the program, of which 166 have been re-paid in full.

For more information about the application process and whether or not you qualify for a housing rehabilitation loan in your city, call Alameda County (510) 670-5399; Hayward (510) 583-4225 and Milpitas (408) 586-3075.

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