Home improvement loans available | News for Fenton, Linden, Holly MI

Residents of Genesee County can apply for an interest-free, no-payment loan to complete home renovations through the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission.

The Genesee County Home Improvement Program (HIP) and Urgent Repair Program (URP) helps low-to-moderate income homeowners complete repairs for problem roofing, windows, doors, septic problems, broken furnaces, sinks and more.

The primary goal of the program is to ensure homes are safe and up to code.

In 2021, they completed 26 projects, 22 under the HIP and four under the URP, which was introduced last fall.

Nicole Odette, program services specialist at the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, said that over the past 10 years, they have completed 341 projects.

The application is open year-round and is available online at gcmpc.org/need-housing-repairs/. Since it went online last October, they have received 120 applications.

They can lend up to $22,000 to qualifying requests, but it’s not a cash loan.

“We hire contractors through a competitive bidding process and pay them on behalf of the owner, so no funds go directly to the owner. The loan is interest-free, payment-free, and repayment is deferred until the homeowner sells or otherwise vacates the home. A lien is placed on the property to secure the loan,” Odette said.

The commission has a list of approved contractors, and they are always looking for general contractors, HVAC specialists, well drillers and more.

Funds come from annual allocations from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and funding from HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program. A portion is set aside to fund these programs, Odette said.

In 2020, they completed 25 projects and spent approximately $524,306.

Eligibility criteria:

• You must have owned and occupied the property for at least one year;

• Your home must be located in Genesee County but not in the cities of Flint, Davison, Clio or the villages of Lennon and Otter Lake;

• The house cannot be located in mobile home or manufactured home communities;

• Total gross household income must be less than 80% of the Genesee County median income. Income includes the income of anyone living in the home aged 18 and over;

• Mortgage payments, property taxes and home insurance must be up to date;

• The debt on the property must not exceed its value;

• Participation in the program is limited to one time only.

Any questions regarding the Home Improvement Program should be directed to the Genesee County Community Development Program at (810) 257-3010.

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