The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly made some residents hesitant about inviting contractors into their homes.
The result has been a decrease in requests for rehabilitation loans, according to Olmsted County Housing Director Dave Dunn.
Rochester officials are now encouraging people to consider using city or county programs to make home improvements.
“Equity, compassion, neighborhood vitality and livability are at the heart of the (Rochester) City Council’s strategic priorities,” Rochester Rochester Community Development Director Cindy Steinhauser said. “The Rochester Home Rehabilitation Loan Program is a great opportunity for residents who don’t have the funds to partner with the city to do needed repairs to their home and help preserve our housing stock and neighborhoods.”
The Rochester Home Rehabilitation Loan Program provides deferred loans for residents with qualified rehabilitation projects.
Loans up to $25,000 with 2 percent simple interest are available to homeowners to make home remodeling improvements related to health, safety and energy efficiency. Repayment of the loan is due upon sale of the house, giving homeowners an opportunity to make needed repairs without experiencing financial hardship.
Recipients must be the owner of the house, have lived in the home for at least six months, and meet income qualifications based on working adults who are 18 or older living in the home.
The income guidelines for the program are based on HUD Section 8 housing income limits, which are 80 percent of the annual median income for a given area. The waitlist for the loan program is first come, first serve and the current estimated wait time is six months.
More information about the Rochester Home Rehabilitation Loan Program is available at https://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/cs/ochra/rehab/Pages/OCHRA-Rehab-Loan.aspx or by contacting Olmsted County Housing Rehab Coordinator Luke Tessum at tessum.luk[email protected].
Program staff will assist interested homeowners with the pre-application process and conduct an inspection of the property to determine what work qualifies for the program.
The county also has additional loan programs available for homeowners in need of immediate loan assistance to address emergency situations in the home.