HomeFront working on the frontlines to keep low-income seniors in safe, warm homes

Owners of older mobile homes can face a number of challenges: water damage, wiring that isn’t up to code, damaged insulation, and roofing issues. Plus, many don’t hold heat well, which leads to high energy costs. In fact, owners may pay several hundred dollars a month for fuel. And if there’s no money? Residents freeze.

Many residents of Washington County were forced to live in just these conditions, so Homefront Development Corporation decided to help. Homefront is a non-profit organization established in 1989 that focuses on housing rehabilitation, affordable senior rental housing, downtown revitalization and community development and counseling programs. Their contractors help low-income families and individuals — often senior citizens – renovate their homes, making them safer and more energy efficient. Unfortunately, due to the nature of grants, payment to these contractors was often late, leading to project delays.

 

Last week, the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region closed on two loans designed to lift people out of unsafe and unhealthy homes in and around Washington County.

The Loan Fund closed two loans for HomeFront Development Corporation; the first, for $150,000 will provide replacement mobile homes for single-family homeowners of low income and the second, for $30,000, will establish a revolving line of credit for emergency home repairs for seniors. The line of credit will reimburse contractors working through the New York State Office of Community Renewal RESTORE program with the goal of renovating 15 homes owned by low-income seniors. “The low interest rates have made it affordable for HomeFront to manage,” says Sharon Reynolds, Executive Director for HomeFront Development.

“The Community Loan Fund has made a positive impact on our organization, our contractors, and on the homeowners we serve in Washington County,” says Reynolds. “HomeFront is challenged with the lack of qualified contractors in our region who are experienced in housing rehabilitation. Through the Fund’s line of credit, we can now ensure our contractors are paid in a timing manner while we wait for receipt of grant funds which often times are delayed. The speedy payment to our contractors translates directly to our homeowners and their appreciation for their project being completed on time.”

“We cannot say enough about the staff at CLF and their willingness and energy to assist us in all capacities from generating check requests quickly to responding immediately to our questions,” she added.