|November 18, 2008 -
The City of Knoxville is launching a new home repair program for homeowners located in Knoxville’s Empowerment Zone that offers low interest and even forgivable loans aimed at helping build stronger neighborhoods in the core of the city.
The EZ Home Repair program is a joint effort of the City of Knoxville’s Community Development Department, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Partnership for Neighborhood Improvement.
It offers low-to-moderate income homeowners in the 16-square-mile empowerment zone – which covers downtown Knoxville and most of the center city area – loans that homeowners can be used for façade improvements or to make repairs of major systems like heating, electrical or plumbing systems.
Community Development will hold two meetings explaining the new program on Monday, November 24, in the Multipurpose Room at the CAC/LT Ross Building at 2247 Western Avenue.
The first meeting is set for 5 p.m. and will lay out the basic guidelines of the program for members of the general public, particularly homeowners who may benefit from it.
The second meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m., is for home improvement contractors, particularly those located within the Empowerment Zone, wanting to learn more about the EZ Home Repair Program.
Qualified contractors can submit an application to be added to Community Development’s pre-approved contractors list at the meeting. Those seeking to become qualified can learn more about local organizations that can provide assistance in meeting the requirements.
The EZ Home Repair program features two components:
“My Front Yard” will provide loans of up to $4,999 (forgivable over a 5-year term) for a wide variety of exterior needs, including front-yard landscaping, gutters, roof repair or replacement, porches, accessibility ramps, and exterior siding, painting, and lighting. The home must meet minimum housing standards.
“Owner-Occupied Rehab” will provide repayable low-interest loans to correct building code violations, updating the home for energy efficiency, repairing major systems (heating, electrical, plumbing, roofing) and making needed repairs to floors, walls and siding.
Applications from homeowners will be accepted beginning Nov. 25, 2008.
The application deadline for the “My Front Yard” (Round I) is January 15, 2009. There is no application deadline for the “Owner-Occupied Rehab” portion of the program but please note that funds are limited and there will be a waiting list.
Certain household income guidelines apply, along with a number of other eligibility requirements, before an applicant can be approved for financing.
The house to be repaired must be owner-occupied and must be in the Empowerment Zone. To determine if a house is located in the EZ, visit www.hud.gov/cr.
For more information, or for a copy of the EZ Home Repair brochure, please contact the City of Knoxville Community Development office at 215-2120.