Home Repairs Make Homes Safer For Seniors; Paying For Them Is A Challenge

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You know the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is?” How many times have you heard that growing up? How many times have you repeated that to your kids, or maybe even your aging parents or grandparents?

It’s all for good reason. Seniors lost almost $1 billion to scammers in 2020, according to an FBI report released just weeks ago. 

So, when seniors in our community heard that the long-time nonprofit Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) was offering interest-free loans to Indianapolis seniors to help make costly repairs and make their homes safer, seniors raised their eyebrows, and said, “that sounds too good to be true.”

Home improvement loans for Indianapolis seniors

INHP works to help people realize their dreams of homeownership in Indianapolis through a variety of programs, including home improvement loans.

As a natural-born skeptic, I must admit, when I heard about INHP’s no-interest, home repair loan program, I raised my eyebrows, and said: “What’s the catch?”

Today, I’m excited to share that CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions is partnering with INHP to help Indianapolis seniors access funds to help them replace leaking and damaged roofs, old water heaters, air conditioners that don’t work and more.

How INHP home repair loans work  

  • INHP has $2 million in funds from Housing and Urban Development for the program.
  • Loans have no interest, and there are no minimum payments. The loan does have to be repaid when the house is sold, but otherwise no payment is required.
  • The maximum loan amount is $15,000.
  • The goal is to help seniors maintain their homes and make sure they are safe.
  • Loans can cover a variety of home improvements, including roofs, gutters, plumbing, structural issues, electrical problems, sewer issues and more. 
  • To qualify, you must own a home in Indianapolis and be current on your mortgage, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
  • Household income can’t be more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income. For example, a one-person household income can’t be more than $51,150; a household of four would need an income of less than $73,050.
  • Those who qualify will have no out-of-pocket expenses.

Like CICOA, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership is concerned about the challenges seniors face in being able to pay for big-ticket repairs, such as replacing an air conditioner, when they are on a limited budget.

In the coming weeks, CICOA will be working in partnership with INHP to provide seniors with the information they need to understand how to apply. INHP also can help locate qualified, licensed contractors to ensure the work is done properly.

Though this sounds too good to be true, it’s a great program, and I am hoping it goes a long way to make homes safer for our seniors.

To learn more or see if you qualify for the program, go to INHP.org/get-started/register-repair-loans or call INHP at 317-610-4663.

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