NeighborWorks® Pocatello is a recent recipient of an Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, which will help facilitate home improvements for local low and moderate income residents. The $537,500 in funding will assist the organization in providing 50 grants in the amount of $10,000 each for eligible homeowners that need to make at least $16,000 in repairs or renovations to their homes.
The funding is intended to help those who find it difficult or impossible to secure the needed resources to fix up their homes or take care of deferred maintenance issues. To qualify for one of the $10,000 grants, a home owner is required to contribute at least $6,000 of their own resources. In cases where home owners are not able to bring $6,000 in cash toward the projects, they are able to apply for a low interest home rehab loan from NeighborWorks Pocatello (NWP).
NWP has a long history of being an outlet for residents that need resources to improve their homes but are not able to come up with cash or don’t qualify for financing from private lenders. To date, the organization has assisted over 450 home owners in the Pocatello area via its Rehab Loan Program. This is the first time in recent memory that it has been able to bring $10,000 of outside assistance to the table.
“It’s easy for home owners to fall behind on home maintenance when resources are tight,” said Heather Pimentel, NWP’s HomeOwnership Center Manager. “”I’m excited about this new program because it will help offset costs for people and empower them to improve their living situations.”
In order to qualify for the $10,000 grant, home owners must be below 80 percent of Bannock County Area Median Income levels. The minimum income threshold increases with household size. For example, a household of one must have annual income below $32,100, a household size of two must be below $36,700, etc. In addition to the income requirements, at least one resident of the household must be 62 years or older, have a physical or mental impairment, be HIV positive, or be in recovery from substance or physical abuse.
Common issues that can be addressed with the program include (but are not limited to) new roofs, upgraded electrical and plumbing, HVAC, siding, windows, foundation issues and the addressing of accessibility issues. Additionally, NWP’s Construction Specialist will conduct a thorough inspection of the home to identify any health and safety issues and will complete a detailed scope of work document, which will assist the home owner with the contractor procurement process. Only licensed, bonded and insured contractors will be eligible to work on the home improvement projects.
The process of receiving an AHP grant is an arduous one and it’s highly competitive. NeighborWorks Pocatello was just one of two organizations in the State of Idaho that received funding this past year. “I think we were able to make a strong case to the Federal Home Loan Bank that there are a lot of folks in our community that have deferred maintenance issues on their homes but lack the necessary resources to properly handle them,” said Mark Dahlquist, NWP Executive Director. “I think we were able to connect the need with the fact that we have a long and successful track record of fixing up homes in the community via our rehab loan program.”
The Bank of Commerce is the official member bank that made the AHP application process possible. Without a partnering member bank, a non-profit sponsor such as NeighborWorks Pocatello is not allowed to apply for AHP funding. “We are grateful that The Bank of Commerce recognized the importance of this funding to further our efforts and make our neighborhoods stronger,” said Dahlquist. “Without their help, none of these resources coming from the Federal Home Loan bank would have made it to our community,”
For residents who would like to find out more about this program or who are interested in making application, they are asked to attend a one-hour long workshop on any Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at the NeighborWorks Pocatello offices, which are located at 206 North Arthur. Advanced reservations for the workshop are not required.
For more information, call 208-232-9468 or click here to read or download our informational brochure.