Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the program?

The Home Improvement Programs were created to assist eligible low and moderate households with repairs or replacement of major home systems (such as a roof or heating system) to correct existing interior and exterior health, safety and substandard code conditions.

How can this program benefit my household?

  • The program provides funding to finance repairs and/or replacements of major home systems.
  • The home improvements can make homes safer and more energy efficient.
  • A professional inspector prepares the detailed work specifications, oversees the scope of work and construction, and confirms the work gets completed according to the work specifications.

What are eligible types of work?

Funds may be used only for work and repairs required to make the house code standard ,conserve energy and remove health and/or safety hazards.

In order to qualify for participation in the program, at least one of the following major systems must be in need of replacement or substantial repair:

  • Roof
  • Plumbing (including sanitary plumbing)
  • Heating
  • Electrical
  • Load bearing structural systems
  • Weatherization (windows, door, insulation)

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You own a residential property within the program’s geographic area and provide a copy of the recorded deed.
  • The property taxes and, if applicable, mortgage must be paid up to date prior to application.
  • You must have homeowners insurance.
  • The household combined annual gross income must be below the maximum income amount listed for your household size in the  program that covers your geographic area (see corresponding Homeowners Link)
  • The home must have at least one major system in need of repair or replacement.
  • Some programs have a sufficient equity requirement.  The owner’s equity in the home must be greater than the maximum amount of assistance that could be made available by the Program. For the sake of this rule, the market value of the home will be calculated using the municipality’s assessed value divided by the equalization ratio.  If you need assistance in determining equity, please call the case manager listed in the link to the program for your geographic area.
  • If there are any repairs or renovations currently being undertaken on your home by others or yourself, or done within the last few years that require or required municipal permits, the work must be completed and the permits closed out prior to applying to the Program.  Contact your municipal construction office if you have questions regarding construction permit requirements.

What is considered income?

The combined annual gross income of all household members including wages, regular overtime, social security, disability benefits, unemployment benefits, pensions, dividend/interest income, alimony, child support, etc.  A complete list will be in the formal application package.

What about my confidential information?

  • All applicants are assigned a case number to protect their privacy.
  • All financial information is kept confidential.
  • Only duly authorized persons will have access to the case files.

What are the funding terms?

There is no cost to apply and applying to this program does not affect your credit score. There are no monthly payments and no interest will ever be charged.  Beyond that, funding terms vary between programs.  Refer to the Homeowner Link for the program where you live for the specific funding terms.

What about rental properties?

For additional information regarding the terms for rental units, homeowners with rental units should contact the case manager on the Homeowner Link to the program that covers your geographic area.

 How do I apply?

You can either submit a pre-application from the link on this website or you can contact the case manager listed on the Homeowners Link to the program that covers your geographic area.  You will then be placed in the applicant pool/wait list.  When you are invited to apply depends on the current openings for the program that covers your geographic area.  With most programs you will be invited to apply within days. With other programs, you will be invited when an opening becomes available.  The program will invite potential applicants in the order that they contact us.

What happens after I am invited to apply and submit a several page formal application?

A CGP&H case manager reviews your application and support documentation from which you are certified either  eligible or ineligible. If you are determined eligible, a program inspector will schedule a property inspection with you to determine if your property meets the minimum requirements and to determine the full scope of work.  The inspector will prepare a detailed scope of work for your review and approval. Once you review and approve the scope of work and contractor list, the work is sent out to bid, generally for a 3 week bid period. The submitted bids are reviewed and the job is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.  The homeowner has the option to select a higher bid and pay the difference between the chosen bid and the lowest responsible bid. The homeowner, contractor, and program inspector then have a pre-construction conference at which time the construction agreement and program loan documents are executed. The program staff will manage the construction process. Program payments will not be released to the contractor until approved by a program inspector and the homeowner. Upon completion, you get to enjoy the home improvements!