Heritage Home Program announces changes

The Heritage Home Program is a unique home repair program that gives homeowners of older or historic homes the appropriate tools to maintain their houses and neighborhoods. Sponsored by Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Treasurer, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) administers the program, offering technical assistance and low-interest, fixed-rate financing.

To be eligible for the loan program, the house must be at least 50 years old, three units or less, and zoned as a residential property. The home can be owner or nonowner occupied.

CRS has made several changes to its program this year. Houses with vinyl or aluminum siding are now eligible for a loan through the program. The loan, however, cannot be used to pay for new vinyl siding or windows. CRS has also reduced the technical assistance fee for loans. Projects valued at $3,000–10,000 have no technical assistance fee; projects valued at $10,001–25,000 will have a one percent fee; and projects $25,001 and up will have a two percent fee. The after-rehabilitation loan escrow fee has been reduced from $500 to $200.

Free technical advice sets the program apart from other similar programs. CRS staff members are old-house experts, and will answer questions and give free advice to enable homeowners to get their projects done properly.

Staff members provide in-depth assistance to homeowners via site visits, custom construction specifications, historic color consultations and support materials. Homeowners can take advantage of the free consulting services, or use the low-interest, fixed-rate, 7-10-year term rehabilitation loan to pay for a large variety of home maintenance and improvement projects. Projects can include roof replacement, addressing city violations, exterior paint renovation, porch repairs, new insulation, a new furnace, and interior renovations.

The CRS team of historic rehabilitation specialists has provided free technical assistance to more than 450 Cleveland Heights residents and facilitated more than 100 home repair loans. For more information, contact CRS at 216-426-3106.

CRS is the region’s largest nonprofit preservation organization, and is a Local Partner affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Founded in 1972, CRS is dedicated to the preservation of Greater Cleveland’s historic resources. Learn more at www.clevelandrestoration.org.

Mary Ogle

Mary Ogle is the Heritage Home Program assistant for Cleveland Heights and the east side of Cleveland. She has a master’s degree in historic preservation, and joined CRS in 2011.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 11:22 AM, 02.29.2012