Northwest Community Action creatively uses rehabilitation resources in our area to help homeowners stay in their homes. The funds are used to address health and safety concerns, improve energy efficiency, and also improve homes that have windows, doors and roofs that are beyond their useful life span in homes that are owner occupied. One of the positive outcomes is being able to help homeowners keep their homeowners insurance from dropping coverage because of an older or substandard roof. Another positive outcome is allowing elderly households stay in their home longer by making it safe and reducing their overall energy consumption. While reducing energy bills and giving homeowners more disposable income allows them to not have to choose between paying bills or getting proper medication thereby improving their overall quality of life. Projects may also include a commercial aspect allowing work to be performed on business and storefronts for program eligible businesses.
Northwest Community Action uses the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Small Cities Develop Program as the primary funding source. Successful applicants enter into a 10 year repayment agreement in which the homeowner makes no payments and accrues no interest. If they reside in the home for the full 10 years the loan is completely forgiven. If the homeowner sells the home before the 10 year term is over there is a prorated payment based on the length of time the homeowner has fulfilled on the 10 year term. The payment is made back to the municipality which can use those funds to do further work. “Small Cities” funding provides a financing avenue to households that may not have access to other conventional financing, building materials are purchased from local suppliers, and local contractors have another stream of business.
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