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Incoronato: County Home Repair Program Helps Senior Citizens Age in Place

Published: 6/30/2010

For More Information Contact:

Anne Saylor, Housing Coordinator
Dutchess County Dept. of Planning & Development
(845) 486-3600

Poughkeepsie… According to a 2005 AARP survey, 89% of those age 50 years and older would prefer to remain in their home as they age.   One of the challenges to ‘aging in place’ is an older adult’s home may require onerous or expensive upkeep.   Dutchess County Legislator Joseph Incoronato (R-District 15) would like seniors to know about the availability of funding through the county’s federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs, designed to help senior citizens complete minor to moderate rehabilitation on their homes and allow them to remain in their home longer.

"An inability to afford necessary home repairs should not be a barrier for senior citizens to remain in their home,” said Legislator Incoronato.  “This successful senior home repair program assists low and moderate income seniors with zero percent loans and deferred payment, up to $20,000, to maintain their home.”

 The Senior Citizen Owner-Occupied Property Rehabilitation Program provides zero percent loans and deferred payment loans up to $20,000 to income eligible senior citizens.  Loans are repaid through monthly payment while deferred payment loans have no monthly payment and are repaid when the homeowner leaves or sells the property.  The type of assistance to be provided is based on income.  Households making between 0-50% of the county median receive deferred payment loans and households making between 50-80% of the county median receive zero percent interest loans.

Eligible repairs include minor to moderate rehabilitation necessary to alleviate building code violations.  The focus of the program is repairs to "major systems" such as roofs, furnaces, decks/porches, structural problems, septics, handicapped accessibility, electrical, and plumbing.  Properties with necessary repairs that substantially exceed $20,000 will not be eligible for assistance.

Legislator Incoronato said,   “This is an important county program for seniors; it allows them to stay in their neighborhood community and provides a sense of security and peace of mind to know their home will not fall into disrepair.”

Eligible applicants must be 62 years of age or older and their household income must be below the following maximums:
   Family Size Income Limits 
   1     $45,100   
   2     $51,550
   3     $58,000
   4     $64,400  

Properties that are owned, in whole or in part, by people who do not reside in the property or by a trust are eligible so long as the eligible applicant (the income eligible senior) has retained a life estate in the property.  Applicants must show the Dutchess County property is their principal residence.

Eligible properties may by located in any Dutchess County municipality except the City of Poughkeepsie, which has its own CDBG allocation and programs, and the Town of Fishkill (Village of Fishkill participates in the program), Town of East Fishkill, and Village of Wappingers Falls (Town of Wappinger participates in the program), where local officials have chosen not to participate in the assistance program.

Guidelines and applications are available by contacting the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 at (845) 486-3600 or by clicking HERE.