Financial resources available for home repairs

Community Preservation funds help families in need.


The Resource Inc. wants the public to know that money is available for home repairs for individuals and families who may not be able to afford them any other way.

At town meetings earlier this spring, Chilmark, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs voters approved $70,000 for each town in Community Preservation funds for what is known as the Preserving Affordability Through Loan Support program, said Melissa Vincent, program manager of the Resource Inc.

“We want people to know this help exists,” Ms. Vincent said.

Funds, which are available for structural repairs, are available for homeowners who are at or below 99 percent of the median income.

“The types of repairs include siding, windows, septic systems, roofing, and trim,” she said. “Anything that’s going to keep the house structurally sound.”

The program can grant up to $35,000 for each project, and $70,000 for each of the three towns that agreed to fund the program. The towns of Tisbury, West Tisbury, and Aquinnah were unwilling to let the program go before their towns’ Community Preservation committees, she said.

Funds for housing rehabilitation programs typically come from federal block grants, though those are not always guaranteed, Ms. Vincent said. That program is available for homeowners at or below 80 percent of the median income.

To be eligible for one of the locally funded grants:

  • a household of one can make no more than $60,895
  • a household of two can make no more than $69,595
  • a household of three can make no more than $78,215
  • a household of four can make no more than $86,995
  • a household of five can make no more than $93,995
  • a household of six can make no more than $100,995
  • a household of seven can make no more than $107,895
  • and a household of eight can make no more than $114,895.

A lien is placed on a home and is forgiven after 15 years, Ms. Vincent said. If the house is sold before the 15 years is up, the funds are reimbursed from the sale.

The grants are especially crucial for elderly residents who can’t afford repairs or young people owning a home for the first time. If a person needs to repair a septic system or a roof, they’re unlikely to have the $10,000 to $15,000 needed, she said. “It would be difficult for them to qualify for a home equity loan,” Ms. Vincent said.

During the past year, The Resource Inc. has funded more than $1 million in eligible projects from its federal block grants — 14 total in Tisbury and Oak Bluffs, and 18 in Edgartown.