Create & Expand Homeowner Renovation Assistance

Dec 2015

State and county home renovation programs provide financial assistance to encourage home remodeling and repair. The majority of state and county programs are funded with federal community development block grants or bond proceeds and have limitations on who qualifies. The restrictions are usually based upon their income and in many cases restrict the use of funds to health and safety or building code items. Very often local communities supplement these funds in order to provide moderate-income families and individuals with funds to renovate their homes. These local programs are typically funded through local levy resources or excess proceeds from development projects. The goal of these programs is to encourage home renovation, provide incentives for private investment in the community and to help retain growing families.

Minnesota Housing, the state housing finance agency, offers several single family home renovation assistance programs either in the form of deferred payment loans or low interest loans.

In addition, many counties and cities have specific loan programs. In the Twin Cities area a local non-profit – The HousingResourceCenter (TM) provides a summary of many county and city home renovation programs. In addition, the HousingResourceCenter (TM) administers the loans and provides construction and remodeling advice to help ensure that the funds are being used efficiently and effectively.

What problems are solved with homeowner renovation assistance?

Government funded renovation programs help to reduce the negative effects of home deterioration. In many cases, unless something is done the deterioration of a single home can affect an entire neighborhood. Specially targeted programs can help to preserve and revitalize neighborhoods. A renovation assistance program can also be used by a community to achieve its individual goals. Every community has its own goals and they may not always be the same as the goals for the state and county governments.

When are homeowner renovation assistance strategies most applicable?

Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a decent home and a stable neighborhood. There are many situations where home owners find it difficult to maintain their homes. State, County and local resources targeted to lower income homeowners provide assistance where it is most needed. In addition specific community objectives may be achieved through the incentive of low interest loans. However, if there are limited funds available, those resources should be targeted to homeowners and areas that need the assistance the most.

Where have homeowner renovation assistance strategies been successful?

The City of Woodbury created a Home Improvement Loan Fund to encourage renovation and increase home values.

Home Ownership, Housing Counts Policy Toolbox, Housing Policy, Housing Quality
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