County’s Home Renewal Program Update: 13 Applications Received In First Cycle

COUNTY News:

The deadline to apply for the new Home Renewal Program closed last week. Today, Project Manager and Executive Director Steve Brugger of the Los Alamos Housing Partnership (LAHP) announced that their office has received 13 applications.

“The number of applications received during this first cycle met our expectations,” Brugger said. “It shows that there is a need for this kind of program in Los Alamos, and the response from the community has been very positive and supportive.”

LAHP is under contract to the County to administer the Home Renewal Program, which provides subsidized loans to residents who meet low-income qualifications and require financial assistance to make repairs or improvements to their home. It was approved and funded by the County Council last fall. Examples of projects that may qualify for funding from the program include window and door replacement, unsafe deck and porch repair or replacement, exterior siding and stucco repair/replacement, lead-based paint, asbestos and mold remediation, and roof repair or replacement.

Brugger said the next steps in the process are already underway: LAHP staff are reviewing applications to determine whether applicants qualify based on income, property and project eligibility criteria, and loan underwriting standards. LAHP staff are preparing a scope of work and general cost analysis for the improvements sought for each applicant’s home, and are using each cost analysis as a basis for preparing a project funding plan which identifies eligibility for other non-County sources of funding.

If the County funding request is approved, LAHP staff will work with the homeowner to solicit bids from a pool of qualified contractors. Once this work is done, all applications will be forwarded, along with LAHP staff recommendations, to a Loan Review Committee appointed by the County Manager. The Loan Review Committee will meet to review all applications and are expected to make funding recommendations to the County Manager by the end of the first week of July.

Brugger said the types of projects in the 13 applications included such items as window and exterior door replacement, insulation of crawl spaces and attics, exterior stucco and siding repair, repair of heating and ventilating duct systems, and accessibility improvements for seniors.

The Council funded the program for $400,000 this year and approved another $200,000 in the FY17 budget, which begins July 1. Applications for this first cycle are being prioritized according to the criteria in the Policies and Procedures manual. Each project receives a numerical ranking using prioritization criteria cited in the program Policies and Procedures. If funding requests for eligible projects exceed the amount of funding available, staff will make funding recommendations based on these rankings.

The Home Renewal Program was created as part of meeting the community’s goals for improving the existing housing stock within our community, especially for those individuals who may be in need of financial assistance in order to repair or improve their property for a variety of safety reasons or quality of life. The date for Cycle 2 to open has not yet been announced, but will likely occur in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

For more information, contact Brugger at 505.662.8918.

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