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Housing Rehabilitation Program

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What is the Housing Rehabilitation Program?

The Cary Housing Rehabilitation Program provides federal funds to assist eligible residential property owners located within the Town limits to undertake home repairs and improvements. These improvements can range from minor repairs and painting to substantial roof and structural renovations on houses that are in serious disrepair.

The goals of the program are to:

1. Preserve existing affordable housing stock;
2. Provide a suitable living environment for residents;
3. Eliminate slum or blighting influences within a residential neighborhood.

These goals, in turn, are designed to preserve the attractiveness of the neighborhood, provide safe and healthy homes for low- and moderate-income families and ensure that older properties do not become dilapidated and negatively impact the local community.

The multi-year program is funded through an annual General Fund appropriation from the Town budget and from the Federal Community Development Block Grant and is administered by the Town’s Planning Department. Funding amounts vary annually depending on available resources.

How does the program work?

Eligible residential property owners within the Town limits apply for Community Development Rehabilitation assistance. Eligibility is restricted to total household incomes which do not exceed 80 percent of the area's Median Income Range. This income range is determined by HUD for the Raleigh-Cary area and is adjusted every few years. The 2016 income ranges are as follows:

 

Family Size

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Maximum Income

$44,950

$51,350

$57,750

$64,150

$69,300

$74,450

$79,550

$84,700

 

When an application is received, it is reviewed by the staff to determine basic eligibility for income, location and general feasibility. An appointment is made with the owner for a preliminary inspection of the house to determine the rehabilitation needs of the structure.

Applications are received and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and are compared to determine priority of the cases. Since funds are limited, applications selected must meet the objectives of the program and will be prioritized based on the greatest need, the income and age of the family, any special needs of the household, and the estimated cost of the rehabilitation project.

When a rehabilitation application case is accepted, a qualified contractor inspects the house to write up a scope of work and a cost estimation for the items listed for repair or replacement identified in the preliminary inspection. After staff review, some adjustments may be made to the scope of work. A work contract is prepared, to be agreed on by the owner and the contractor. The project is then advertised, to be bid on by qualified contractors. The successful bidder and the owner sign a contract for the specific work items to be repaired or replaced and work can then commence.

Who can apply for funding?

Any residential homeowner whose principal home is located within the incorporated area of the Town and who meets the income requirements can apply for rehabilitation assistance.

What type of improvements are eligible for funding?

Rehabilitation improvements must be for the primary residential structure of the property.  Examples of eligible improvements include:

  • Replacement or repair of structure siding, including painting
  • Replacement or repair of doors or windows
  • Repair or replacement of roofs, including shingles, roof vents and chimney flashings
  • Repair or replacement of rain gutters, fascia, and soffits 
  • Removal and prevention of crawl space mold and mildew
  • Exterior and interior caulking, sealing, insulation and weather proofing
  • Plumbing and electrical wiring to meet code requirements
  • Bathroom and kitchen facility repairs and replacements
  • Installation of ADA facilities (handrails, step ramps, etc.)
  • Repair or replacement of porches and decks

Examples of ineligible activities include:

  • Alarm systems
  • New building construction or new additions
  • Any items that are not allowed by the NC State Building Code or the Town of Cary Code of Ordinances
  • Application fees, permit fees or inspection fees
  • Non-residential structures and buildings

Are there any design guidelines?

Projects must conform to the Town of Cary Land Development Ordinance (LDO), Building Code Ordinance, Minor Alterations, Community Appearance Manual, and be consistent with the overall Town and State ordinances. The Planning staff will assist applicants with these requirements at their convenience and by appointment. Features incompatible with the surrounding structures and buildings will be determined by the Town staff.

How does the application process work?

First, homeowners must complete an application form and submit it to the Planning Department for initial review. Applicants are encouraged to talk or meet with the Town Planning staff so that the program requirements can be explained and the scope of the rehabilitation project discussed. At this stage, the preliminary eligibility for the program will be determined, based on household size, combined income, location, extent of rehabilitation work, etc.

The application stage will be followed by a preliminary house inspection by the Town Minimum Housing Inspector to determine the extent of necessary housing repairs and replacements. The Housing Planning staff will then review the application and make a preliminary approval or denial for the work requests and provide write-ups within 30 days. If approved, a professional housing consultant will inspect the house and provide a work write-up and cost estimation. The applicant will receive a notification from the Town of Cary for the specified amount of work with information on any other requirements.

The project is then bid out to independent housing contractors to perform the rehabilitation work. After contractor selection, a work contract is drawn up between the homeowner and the contractor to sign. An additional rehabilitation deferred loan agreement will be drawn up between the homeowner and the Town. As work progresses, it will be monitored by the Planning staff for compliance. The contractor will undertake the necessary permitting and city review processes.  Project cost overruns due to miscalculations, undiscovered construction requirements or other justifiable reasons may be added to the overall cost of the rehabilitation project upon approval from the Planning staff. Each project will contain a 10 percent contingency line item to insure against valid cost over runs.

How much can I borrow?

Applicants may be awarded a maximum of $50,000 on a deferred interest basis with a declining monthly repayment obligation which will convert the original loan principle to a non-repayable grant over a five-, seven-, or ten-year period, dependent on the amount of the original loan.

What are my repayments?

The deferred payment loan requires no monthly repayments and is interest free. At the end of the loan term, assuming all of the loan conditions are met, the loan is “forgiven” and converts to grant. Applicants would only be required to make repayments if they sold or transferred the property, ceased to live there or removed the improvements during the loan term. Once the loan term (5, 7 or 10 years) has expired there are no repayment obligations of any kind.

What happens after a project is selected for funding?

Work selected for rehabilitation funds must be completed within six consecutive months (180 days) of approval of the work write-up and execution of the contract, unless extended by approval of the Town of Cary. The contractor is responsible for obtaining all required building permits and any other required permits for the work to be done. The contractor is responsible for conforming to all applicable safety standards and conditions. When all work is completed, the Town Permits and Inspection Department staff will inspect the work and, if approved, will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.

The homeowner/applicant must also agree to maintain the property and improvements for a set period. After the agreed period has elapsed and if the house is still in good repair, the deferred loan is forgiven and the funds expended become a grant.

The owner of a selected project will agree to allow the Town of Cary to promote an approved project including, but not limited to, displaying a sign at the site during and after construction and using photographs and descriptions of the project in future Town marketing materials.

For more details please see the Housing Rehabilitation Guide.

 

John Donachie, Senior Planner
Town of Cary Planning Department
P.O. Box 8005
Cary, NC 27512-8005
(919) 380-2782
john.donachie@townofcary.org

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