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NIP Helps Low Income Homeowners Maintain Properties

by Vince Bushell

If you own your home and have a low income, you may qualify for a grant that would pay for major home repairs. The YMCA Community Development Corporation (CDC) is one agency that does major home repair under the NIP program. The program is funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars. The NIP program focuses on repairing building code violations on the properties accepted for work. A city inspector determines the type and quantity of repairs to be done. Typically, porches are rebuilt, roofs are replaced or repaired, and siding and trim is painted or replaced. Unless the windows have been previously replaced, all windows are removed and stripped and repainted or replaced. This lowers the risk for exposure to lead paint dust found on all old windows in the city. Code violations inside the home are also addressed. This is not a remodeling program. Repairs are done professionally by the agencies’ contractors to meet city code requirements. Many city homes have been repaired over the years by this program. Over time, it has become one of the most successful housing rehabilitation projects that use CDBG funds. This is a forgivable loan program for low-income homeowners. Successful applicants do not have to pay back the loan if they live in their homes for three years after being accepted into the program. This includes the total cost of repairs associated with a typical NIP project on exterior work on the home. If any mechanical (plumbing, electrical, heating system) repairs have to be made to meet code, the cost associated with the repair becomes a lien on the home. This means when the owner sells or vacates the property the city will ask that the cost associated with these types of repairs be paid back at the time of sale. The YMCA CDC is now accepting requests for applications for NIP work to be done. In order to be eligible for the NIP program, your household must meet the following criteria: • You must own your home and have lived in it for at least two years. • Your name must be on the title; all names on the title are applicants. • Your home must be insured. • Your property taxes must be paid. • You have not had service from the NIP program previously. • You have not received a home rehabilitation loan from the city previously. In addition you must provide the following recent documentation: • Proof of income: e.g. copies of payroll checks, social security benefit letter • Copy of property tax bill • Copy of homeowner’s insurance policy showing policy number and expiration date. (If denied insurance, a recent letter of denial from insurance company.) • Copy of utility bills, gas and electric. • Copy of water bill. • If you have a mortgage, a document indicating the balance due and monthly payment. The NIP application must be completed in full and notarized. If your home is a duplex, any rent received must be included as household income. You will receive information on possible lead-based paint contamination of your home. Any children living in the property between the ages of one and six must have a lead blood test performed and the results must be submitted with the application. Interested applicants would be well advised to keep up-to-date records of the documents needed to complete the application. Sometimes waiting lists can be long, and it is necessary to supply up-to-date information when it is requested. It is important to note that when applications are rejected, it is most often because of incomplete information, previous service, unpaid taxes, or lack of insurance. Only completed applications including documentation will be considered. Rick Slayton, Program Manager, is available to answer questions on the application process and can send you an application. Applicants are responsible for filling out the forms and providing the documents needed. If you are interested in applying for the NIP program and live in the Riverwest or WAICO neighborhood, please contact Rick Slayton, 1350 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53205, 414-374-9441. Program Eligibility Number of people in household Maximum eligible income: 1 $23,500 2 $26,900 3 $30,250 4 $33,600 5 $36,300 Riverwest Currents – Violume 2 – Issue 10 – October 2003
by Vince Bushell