Home Modification Loan Program Reaches Significant Milestone
1500 Loans Approved to Help Keep Individuals with Disabilities and Elders in their Own Homes
Boston, Mass., March 19, 2012 – More than 1500 no or low-interest loans have been approved to Massachusetts elders, as well as adults and families with children with disabilities to allow them to remain in their own homes, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) announced today. CEDAC works in cooperation with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to administer the Home Modification Loan Program to provide loans of up to $30,000 for eligible homeowners to finance such things as the addition of ramps and lifts, kitchen and bathroom modifications, and the widening of doorways and floor renovations.
“This is a tremendous milestone for this quietly successful program,” said Roger Herzog, CEDAC’s executive director. “The Home Modification Loan Program keeps disabled or elderly family members in their own homes by helping them make the renovations necessary to meet the needs of a disabled or elderly family member. It saves the state money by not forcing these men and women to move to nursing facilities and ensures that quality housing is available.”
As of January 2012, more than 1500 loans equaling more than $33 million have been made since 2000, with the average loan being a little more than $22,000. Almost 80 percent of those loans are no interest loans. The modifications that have been completed with these loan funds include 554 bathrooms, which have been altered to meet the needs of resident, and 575 ramps and/or lifts have been installed. Modifications have been made in 227 of the 351 communities across the Commonwealth. The funding for the projects comes from the state capital bond fund allocated annually by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance.
CEDAC and MRC works with six regional provider agencies that provide geographic coverage across Massachusetts. The provider agencies, which include Community Teamwork, Inc, HAP, Inc., Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, RCAP Solutions Financial Services, Inc., and South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. collect applications and background information, draft loan documents and inspect the homes of potential borrowers before and after the project.
“The Home Modification Loan Program makes a tangible difference in people’s lives,” said Christopher Norris, executive director of the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP). “It allows families to stay together in their own homes and preserves the dignity of people with physical and cognitive disabilities while also saving the state money that would otherwise have to be spent for long-term medical care and hospitalizations. I am very happy that MBHP has played and continues to play a part in the implementation of this very successful program.”
An example of the importance of the Home Modification Loan Program is found in the Langosy family in Medford. Donald Langosy has MS, uses a walker around his house, and a wheelchair outside the home. His wife, Elizabeth, took an early retirement to become her husband’s primary caregiver. A painter whose artwork is displayed in his home, Donald and his wife purchased their home with daughter and son-in-law to be close to their extended family.
Elizabeth and Donald Langosy received a $30,000 0% loan from Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership to make their existing bathroom accessible and build a ramp off of their front porch. Additionally, they received an approximately $1000 grant from Mystic Valley Elder Services and $2,000 from the MS Society to complete their project. These modifications have had a tremendously positive impact on Donald’s day-to-day life. He can come and go from his home on his own accord and is able to sit on his deck to watch his grandchildren play in the backyard. Prior to the ramp being installed, he was dependent on his son-in-law and wife to carry him up and down the front porch steps. The installation of a walk-in shower means Elizabeth no longer must help lift him in and out of the bathtub.
The Home Modification Loan Program continues to provide low- or no-interest loans to qualifying families throughout the Commonwealth. More information on the program can be found at http://cedac.org/Home/HomeMod.html and www.mass.gov/mrc/hmlp.
CEDAC is a private-public, community development finance institution that provides technical assistance, pre-development lending and consulting services to non-profit organizations involved in housing development, workforce development, neighborhood economic development and capital improvements to child care facilities. CEDAC is also active in national housing preservation policy research and development and is widely recognized as a leader in the non-profit community development industry. For additional information on CEDAC and their current projects, please visit www.cedac.org.