Stonington is launching a program that aims to enhance access to quality housing. The Housing Rehabilitation Loan program offers loans to help residents make home improvements that they otherwise would not be able to afford.
"It is designed to help Stonington residents who need assistance with repairs in their house. So it could be windows or a roof or a boiler system that they otherwise might not be able to afford the repairs on, and may even have to face leaving their home and leaving their communities since there is such a shortage of homes that are affordable right now," said Danielle Chesebrough, Stonington First Selectman. "There's a lot of people who could use assistance when it comes to housing."
According to the first selectman, 34.8% of all households and 46.6% of rental households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing.
The town is using $150,000 from the American Rescue Plan to launch the program.
"The beauty of it is - it is a loan so as people pay it back, it will replenish itself," said Chesebrough.
The program offers no-interest deferred loans to owner-occupied households earning 80% or less of median household income for the Norwich-New London Metropolitan Statistical Area. Low-interest loans are also available to investor-owners, whose tenants meet income criteria and agree to specific affordable rent requirements.
In addition to increasing access to quality housing, the town said the program focuses on quality of life.
"I think that's something that is lost when people talk about home repairs- how that can affect your day-to-day well being," said Leanne Theodore, director of Stonington Human Services.
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