As many struggling to make ends meet often push back or neglect household repairs, Dane County is offering help to those in need through a community development program.
The Dane County Major Rehab Program, handled by Project Home, offers financial aid for such repairs for low-income households. Project Home and similar organizations are raising awareness this week as part of National Community Development Week.
In recent years the population of low to moderate income households has shifted around Dane County and many people are unaware that they are eligible to apply under the program, according to Jason Hafeman, outreach manager at Project Home. The program applies to county residents living outside of Madison in homes valued at less than $209,000.
“People must have a certain amount of equity in the home and that’s how we get paid back once it’s sold,” Hafeman said.
Project Home was founded in 1970 and was the first of its kind offered in Dane County. It is a private non-profit that handles various government contracted programs as well as privately funded programs which benefit the community, Hafeman said. Project Home development programs are funded by the Community Development Block Grant or CDBG.
Financial assistance given by these programs is provided through non-interest, payment deferred loans. These loans are typically between $5,000 and $23,000 and are repaid once the house is sold according to the Project Homes website.
Repairs made through the rehab program are primarily health and safety related and do not add any value to the household, according to Hafeman. Some common repairs include roofing, siding, HVAC, plumbing and electrical safety. If you need immediate roof repair services, then you might want to hire the best roofers nearby in Greenville, SC like the ones from Carolina Home Specialists. And according to Mac-Vik Plumbing and Heating, if you are experiencing difficulties with your hvac systems, you may want to contact professional hvac specialists immediately for expert help.
“The intent of these programs is to prevent homelessness and to help homes be safe and healthy,” Hafeman said.
According to Hafeman, Project Home, which includes Dane and Green Counties, serves approximately 700 to 800 households per year. The Dane County rehabilitation program serves 12 to 15 projects a year based on budgetary restrictions and job size.
The rehab program also looks at household size to determine eligibility and maximum income, he said, for a single person household this is $44,000 and $51,000 for two.
“These houses vary in location but we end up doing a lot of work in the town of Madison and Fitchburg,” Hafeman said.
Residents who live within the city of Madison or other ineligible areas are often covered by similar programs within their municipality or other Project Home programs.
The program and other uses of federal funds has been very effective, according to Jim O’Keefe from the Madison Community Development Division. He noted improvements made in the southwest portions of Madison as an example, citing employment programs and housing rehab projects.
“These programs help improve home quality and support the operation of neighborhood centers around the city,” O’Keefe said.