The vast service area of the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat), a nonprofit group that builds, renovates and repairs affordable homes, includes the Northeast Los Angeles communities of Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Highland Park and Montecito Heights.
That could be good news for some homeowners in those neighborhoods, because SGV Habitat is ramping up its Home Preservation Program, an effort to help homeowners with limited incomes maintain and sustain their homes. Since its launch in 2011, the program has completed work on four to five homes a year, on average. The goal now is to help 50 households a year.
The work is focused on a home’s exterior, such as roof repairs, making sure railings and walkways are safe and fixing broken or drafty windows. The maximum amount spent on each project is $10,000 and the average amount is $6,000.
Frances Hardy, Director of Resource Development at SGV Habitat, says that the organization’s mission is not just to increase the number of affordable homes, but to help people stay in their homes while preserving the stock of existing affordable housing. Ms. Hardy also noted that on a more personal level, the property upgrades help to restore pride of ownership.
To qualify for help, homeowners must meet income limits that are based on the size of a household. For a one-person household, the gross annual income limit in 2018 is $54,250. For a two-person household, the limit is $62,000 and so on, up to a limit of $102,300 for an eight-person household.
What makes the program work is that qualifying homeowners – typically senior citizens, veterans and disabled people – incur no upfront out-of-pocket costs. Rather, SGV Habitat gives the homeowner an interest-free loan, secured by the property, to fund the project. In some instances, the homeowner repays the loan over as much as five years, or the loan is paid back when the property is sold.
For more information, including complete eligibility criteria for the Home Preservation Program, visit: sgvHabitat.org or call 626-387-6899.
Editor’s Note: NELA communities not included in the SGV Habitat territory can contact the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles at 310-323-4663 for information about programs in their areas.