May 10, 2021
Low-income senior rehabs home with a nearly $50,000 no-interest, forgivable loan, with many more projects in the pipeline to help homeowners in need
NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joined the Center for NYC Neighborhoods (the Center) to announce the first rehab project completed through the HomeFix program, which provides affordable financing for essential home repairs in small family-owned properties across New York City. This milestone provided a low-income senior homeowner in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn with nearly $50,000 through a no-interest, forgivable loan to complete critical rehab work, including a roof replacement, structural work, and installation of new windows.
“We are so thrilled to see the first project completed through our HomeFix program provide much needed repairs for this senior homeowner,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “This administration is committed to keeping long-standing residents in their homes and communities, and making sure their homes are safe, well-maintained, and affordable over the long term. Under Your Home NYC – the Mayor’s comprehensive approach to helping New Yorkers get, afford, and keep their homes – programs like HomeFix will be critical to preventing displacement, maintaining housing quality, and stabilizing communities as the City works towards recovery.”
The HomeFix program is expected to support more than 100 homeowners per year, with several projects soon set to have work begin. The scope of work can vary, including, but not limited to repairs to heating, hot water, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as roof, sidewalks, paving, and energy efficiency upgrades. Residents may also be eligible for home improvements through HomeFix to improve accessibility and help senior residents age in place, including bathroom and kitchen modifications.
Originally built in 1930, this first home to benefit from the HomeFix program underwent substantial repairs to address immediately hazardous conditions as well as those that could pose a bigger issue in the future. Repairs, led by Restored Homes, included:
“I’ve been a homeowner in Canarsie for 16 years,” said Cathie Wright-Lewis, a retired public school teacher and HomeFix recipient. “But recently, I was thinking about selling my house, because it had become difficult to take care of, and my kids were getting older. Through HomeFix, I secured affordable, high-quality repairs that will lower my maintenance costs and allow me to stay here into the future. It’s an excellent program!”
“We’re proud of the opportunity to help this family make their home safer and more energy-efficient through the HomeFix program,” said Christie Peale, CEO/Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “Unaddressed repairs can threaten financial stability and lead to displacement for low- and moderate-income families. Unfortunately, many homeowners have been forced to defer upkeep during the pandemic, and that's why we are committed to getting them the resources they need in this time of crisis as quickly as possible. We look forward to serving many more families in the months ahead.”
“It was such a pleasure and an honor to have worked with this homeowner, our first approved HomeFix client,” said Thomasina White, Director of Programs at Parodneck Foundation. “Through this program, she was able to get the necessary repairs she desperately needed with an affordable loan and enjoy her senior years knowing that she is safe and secure in a place she has called home for the past 16 years.”
In order to promote safe, quality, housing as well as affordability, HomeFix provides small homeowners, including seniors and those who live in underbanked communities, with access to affordable loan options for home repairs. Options for loans include non-interest bearing and forgivable loans that they may not be able to access through traditional lenders. Eligible homeowners of one- to four- family homes earning less than 165% of Area Median Income ($177,210 for a family of three) can receive up to $60,000 per home, plus $30,000 per additional rental unit on the property. In partnership with the Center’s extensive network of non-profit partners, HPD’s HomeFix program also provides eligible homeowners with technical assistance, education, and financial counseling. The program was made possible through funding from Enterprise Community Partners, the New York City Council, the City of New York, and the Office of the New York Attorney General.
“As homeowners continue to suffer from the financial hardship of the pandemic, HomeFix’s mission to support low-income homeowners is more important than ever,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Through this program, countless New Yorkers, including seniors, will have access to the resources needed to make critical repairs to their homes, and neighborhoods throughout New York can thrive. I am proud that my office has provided funding to support this program, and I thank HPD for their partnership in ensuring all our families can remain in their homes.”
“Stable homeownership is a critical component of strong neighborhoods and all homeowners should have access to affordable home repair to ensure good housing quality, regardless of their income,” said Elizabeth Zeldin, Director at Enterprise Community Partners. “Enterprise is proud to help fund the HomeFix program, which will help ensure quality, safe housing for low-income residents throughout the city.”
Homeownership is critical to stabilizing both New Yorkers and the communities they live in. Particularly for low-income homeowners of color, ownership provides a valuable opportunity to build wealth to pass on to future generations. Helping homeowners maintain their homes is in line with the goals of Your Home NYC, this administration’s comprehensive approach to helping New Yorkers get, afford, and keep their homes, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought additional stressors of illnesses, lost jobs, lost wages, and lost rental income from impacted tenants.
To learn more about the HomeFix program, visit nyc.gov/homefix.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked advancing the goals of the City's housing plan – a critical pillar of Your Home NYC, Mayor de Blasio's comprehensive approach to helping New Yorkers get, afford, and keep housing in these challenging times. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.