Home loans that don’t have to be paid back

Home loans that don’t have to be paid back

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Pre-applications for a $2 million grant program that offers substantial benefits for home improvements are due February 1. Town officials are encouraging Island residents to attend local workshops that explain the programs, how to apply, and outline the income qualifications. Loans are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Up to $35,000 dollars in home improvement loans can be granted for owner-occupied, year-round, or landlord-owned homes. If the owner keeps the home for the 15-year term of the loan, the loan will be completely forgiven. If the home is sold, a portion of the loan must be paid back.

Homeowners who earn less than 80 percent of the median income for Dukes County are eligible. The median income for a family of four is $62,900.

The grant program has proved very successful in Oak Bluffs and Tisbury, and is being expanded to Edgartown, West Tisbury, and Aquinnah next year. Workshops will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 5 pm at the West Tisbury library, 6 pm at the Edgartown library; and on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 11 am at the Up-Island Council on Aging; and 5:30 pm at Aquinnah Town Hall.

Each workshop is open to residents of any Island town. Loan applications are available at local town halls.