Programs Every Vermont Homeowner Needs to Know About

(Last Updated On: February 2, 2018)

Whether you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments or faced with an unexpected home improvement and repair expenses in Vermont, there is help available to you!

While researching low income home buyer programs, we stumbled across several helpful programs for those who already own their own homes.

You need to know about these programs!

Low income homeowners nationwide have a hard time meeting their mortgage payments. If you are at risk of foreclosure because you’re struggling to make your housing payment, these programs can help you!

GreenPath is a non-profit agency that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure. They can also help older adults decide if reverse mortgages are the right choice for their situation. As an approved US Department of Housing and Urban Development intermediary, GreenPath can help you navigate the complex web of state and federal mortgage assistance programs and understand what options are best for your situation.

United Capital Mortgage Assistance is a highly referred program that can help you obtain mortgage modifications. They offer free consultations. Although I’m unsure of their pricing after that, they are highly recommended by other resources I’ve found.

Vermont Department of Financial Regulation offers a Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) that provides counseling and relief program referrals to homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments. They urge you to contact them as soon as possible – do not wait for a foreclosure notice!

Get help with home improvement expenses from these agencies and cities!

Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing provides interest-free loans or even grants of up to $3,000 to Tri-Park Mobile Home Owners who need to make repairs. Loans carry 4.5 percent interest and have a three year term. If you can’t afford the loan or the repairs are urgently needed for health or safety reasons, the assistance may be provided as an outright grant that does not have to be repaid.

Burlington has two home repair programs: the Emergency Repair Loans program and the Homeowner Rehabilitation Loans program. Emergency Repair Loans are low interest loans between $1,000 and $5,000 which can be used to correct life-threatening safety code violations. Homeowner Rehabilitation Loans are for homes located in certain areas which need major repairs.

Champlain Housing Trust provides a helpful loan program to low income residents of Franklin, Chittenden or Grand Isle counties. Loans are secured by a second mortgage on your home so you must have some equity available.

Downstreet Housing and Community Development provides low-interest rehabilitation loans for homeowners who need to make essential repairs. Repair assistance may include technical support, home maintenance workshops, special grants and more. To qualify, you must be a low income resident of Washington, Orange or Lamoille Counties.

Montpelier offers home repair loans for little to no inerest to low income homeowners. These loans can be deferred until your property is sold so you don’t have to make monthly payments! You can use the money to add space to your home, conserve energy, install or replace storm windows, add disability modifications and more!

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont helps eligible homeowners make repairs that improve the health and safety of their home. They may also assist with certain energy-effiency home improvement! Projects from roof repair to wheelchair ramps can be completed with NeighborWorks funding.

Opportunities Credit Union can issue home improvement loans to homeowners with little to no equity in their homes. You must have a $5 balance in a savings account to become an OCU member and apply for the loan. On their Personal Loans page, check out the “Stewart ELF” Emergency Loan Fund, the Independence Fund (for those with disabilities) and the Home Improvement loans.

(Normally, I don’t include banks or credit unions, but this is Vermont’s only Title I lender and was listed on their 211 directory of home improvement resources.)

Rebuilding Together of Greater Burlington improves the comfort and safety of homes owned by the elderly, people with disabilities and working families who cannot afford needed home improvement projects. This volunteer organization steps in and assists applicants on designated Rebuilding Days.

RuralEdge provides low interest rehabilitation loans for essential repairs and disability modifications. To qualify, you must be a low income homeowner in Caledonia, Orelans or Essex County. You must meet certain income limits and you must be unable to acquire conventional financing for the repairs.

Vermont Center for Independent Living offers a Home Access Program that provides home entry and bathroom accessibility modifications for Vermont residents with physical disabilities. Because the need often exceeds the funding, this program often has a waitlist.

Vermong Lead-Based Paint Program provides financial and technical assistance to low income families and landlords. The program includes testing of all painted surfaces, risk assessment, bidding acceptance and project management. They also take dust samples and have them lab analyzed. To qualify, homeowners must meet income requirements and own a home or apartment constructed bofore 1978.

Vermont Wastewater and Potable Water Revolving Loan Fund provides an On-Site Loan Program to help Vermont residents repair or replace failed on-site wastewater and water supply systems. There is a $3,000 minimum loan amount, no maximum, and the loans carry a 3 percent interest rate for 15 years.

Vermont Weatherization Program helps low income residents with specific home improvements that can lower their monthly power bills. Owners and renters can qualify for this program! Trained energy auditors will come to your home to perform an energy audit. Depending on their findings, they may add insulation, air sealing, heating system upgrades and more!

USDA Section 504 Home Repair Program provides loans of up to $20,000 that can be used for repair, home improvement or modernization. Funds can also be used to remove health or safety hazards. Grants of up to $7,500, which do not have to be repaid, are also available and can be used to remove health and safety hazards from the home. You may be able to receive a combination of grants and loans.

Windham and Windsor Housing Trust offers low to zero interest loans for residents of Windham and Southern Windsor Counties who need to make repairs to their home. These repairs could include plumbing, weatherization, electrical, roofing, septic, lead paint, or other needs.

Windham and Windsor Housing Trust also offers mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention programs.

 

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