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Snohomish County helps local homeowner rehabilitate home

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Published on Wed, Apr 15, 2009
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Snohomish County helps local homeowner rehabilitate home

Rewards are far greater than home improvements BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Work crews are busy updating the windows in Ida Dalton’s home in Lake Stevens. Dalton was able to acquire a no-interest loan through the county’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program.

Lake Stevens resident Ida Dalton needed some home improvements done on her house didn’t have the means to get the work done in a quality manner so she decided to take advantage of Snohomish County’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program.

The Rehabilitation Program offers low interest or no interest loans to homeowners in need of some upkeep.

“We can help anyone but people who are disabled or seniors who are below 50 percent the area’s mean income (AMI) can get zero percent interest deferred loans, they pay nothing until they sell or move,” Mark Papritz, Title I Rehabilitation Construction Lead said.  “So many seniors, often widows, are on these little fixed incomes and need a new roof.  We can really help with the stress of these big fixes.”

Eleven years ago Dalton needed a new roof and didn’t have the means to pay for one. That’s when she found the Rehabilitation Program.

“I found the program over 11 years ago when my roof was collapsing,” she said. “I talked to them about fixing my whole roof. Now I need the windows and other things fixed and they had the money this time to help me again.”

Dalton needed help repairing some electrical issues, new windows and exterior paint and called to see if she would once again qualify for the loan program. Once she was qualified she got to choose whether to hire an outside contractor or use the contractors on the county’s list.

“They give you an option of hiring your own contractor or hiring from the list and I chose the list,” Dalton said. “They insure heir work and they are all good workers.” 

Work that can qualify for these loans includes health and safety items, roofs, foundations, dry rot, electrical, plumbing, heating, handicap accessibility and septic system work.

“For some it is a modest change, because it is a just practical decision to take care of issues with their home.  For others, like a woman we helped in Darrington, its a night and day difference,” Papritz explained. “Suddenly her quality of life was so much better, she was comfortable, she was  more confidant and hopeful about the future. She received a deferred zero interest loan.  It was the only way she could afford to take care of some serious deficiencies with the home, otherwise she likely wouldn’t have been able to continue to live there.”

The experience is rewarding for both the home owner and the construction crew.

“Helping people improve their homes always feels good for us, but the most rewarding experiences has to be the families or individuals with the greatest needs,” Paprtiz said. “Often times these folks have tried to make the best of things on their own, lacking the resources to tackle the problems on their home in a comprehensive way. Sometimes they just live with these huge problems, thinking that there is no way to afford to have them fixed.”  

If you are interested and think you might qualify for a Home Rehabilitation Loan through the Snohomish County Loan Program you can contact Jackie at the Housing Authority of Snohomish County at 425-290-8499 ext. 555 or 425-743-4505, ext. 555.

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