Oroville Opens Application Period for Low-Interest Home Improvement Loans: Don’t Miss the Deadline
Oroville’s Housing Rehabilitation/Minor Home Repair Program in California is offering low-interest repair loans to homeowners residing within the city limits. This program aims to assist residents who may not have access to traditional funding for housing improvements, providing them with a viable solution.
In 2021, Oroville received $750,000 through the California Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are specifically allocated to offer qualifying homeowners loans with a low 3% interest rate for essential “health and safety” home repairs.
Despite the availability of these funds for the past two years, Amy Bergstrand, the director of business assistance/housing development, expressed surprise that no one has applied to take advantage of the minimal interest loans. The loans can be utilized for a range of home repairs, including roof replacement or repair, plumbing and sewer repair, window and flooring improvements, addressing water damage, structural wood damage, electrical repairs or updates, foundation problems, ADA upgrades, and the installation of new heating and air conditioning systems, among other eligible repairs.
Bergstrand acknowledged the city’s efforts to inform residents about the program, including mass mailings to those residing within the city limits and sharing information on the city’s Facebook page. However, she believes that there may still be a lack of understanding regarding the potential benefits of these loans and the types of repairs they can cover.
To qualify for the loans, families must have a household income within 80% of the area’s median income, based on the number of people in the family and the gross incomes of all wage earners. The properties eligible for the loans must be single-family, owner-occupied homes or duplexes with one unit being owner-occupied. Applicants should not own additional properties and must have no past due accounts or collections on their credit reports. The program offers three types of loans (deferred, interest-only, and fully amortized) depending on the applicant’s qualifications.
Bergstrand emphasized the importance of home equity, stating that the loans cannot exceed the value of the house. While the loans primarily focus on health and safety repairs, the program allows homeowners to allocate up to 15% of the loan for general repairs such as new lighting or countertops, if there are sufficient funds remaining in the budget after critical repairs are addressed.
The loan process, from application to the start of construction, typically takes around three to four months, according to Kaitlyn Lorson, a city program analyst. The process involves completing and submitting the application, followed by a property appraisal and evaluation of requested repairs by a contractor hired by the city. Once the qualifications are verified, the project is put out for bid, and the homeowner selects a contractor to complete the work.
Overall, Oroville’s Housing Rehabilitation/Minor Home Repair Program offers a valuable opportunity for homeowners to access low-interest loans and make essential improvements to their homes.