The Village of Walden would like to see more residents participate in their residential housing rehabilitation program. This is part of the village board’s effort to improve housing conditions and the appearance of the village.
The current balance available is approximately $1 million. Outstanding loans are approximately $600,000. Nine residents applied and qualified for the loan in 2020.
“I think it’s a great program…,” Village of Walden Trustee Lynn Thompson said at the village board meeting on Feb. 2. “Now that we have our code officer in place again, I just really would like for the board to encourage that the building department lets our community know that these loans are available and that we encourage people that when they get citations or if they have property improvement issues, that there is a special fund.”
The original funding for the program came from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). At first the funds were used for applicants under certain income limits, however an audit and a follow up with HUD determined income qualifications were no longer required.
Payment terms and interest rates are dependent upon Orange County median income parameters. Zero percent interest applies to residents who earn 60 percent or less of the Orange County median income. A one percent interest rate is given to residents who earn 61 to 80 percent of the county’s median income. Two percent goes to those who make between 81 and 100 percent of the Orange County median income and three percent goes to those who earn a salary that is greater than or equal to the county’s median income.
The terms of the loan may be extended out to a maximum of 20 years. Monthly payments are required to pay the debt off in full by the end of the term established in the loan documents. Walden Village Manager John Revella has the right to waive this requirement under exigent circumstances.
According to federal guidelines, priority must be given to repairs which cause health and safety hazards. Repairs to make houses more energy efficient and accessible under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards are also a priority for this loan.
Some examples of eligible work include structural repairs to a house’s foundation, structural beams and joists. Structural repairs to stairs, porches, roofs and chimneys are eligible as well.
Replacements can be made to plumbing, plumbing fixtures, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, wiring, electrical services, as well as water and sewer lateral replacements.
Exterior work eligible under the loan includes lead paint and asbestos removal. Exterior painting and siding as well as the reparation of woodwork, windows, gutters and leaders are covered in the loan program.
General interior work available includes lead paint and asbestos removal. Wall, ceiling and flooring repairs also qualify under the loan as well as painting.
Some examples of repairs to make a house more energy efficient are installing insulation, replacing doors and windows as well as putting in storm windows and doors.
Attempts to make a house ADA-accessible include the installation of wheelchair ramps, widened doorways, special plumbing fixtures and handrails.
Items such as driveways, garages, solar panels, or cosmetic improvements are not eligible for this program.
Before residents start the loan process with the village, there is information they must share with their loan officer. They must supply the officer with their address, social security number, name and location of their employers, gross monthly salary at their current job, pertinent information for all checking and savings accounts, pertinent information for all open loans as well as complete information for other real estate they own. Residents must also give an approximate value of all personal property, current check stubs and W-2 forms as well as personal tax returns, current income statements or business balance sheets for self-employed individuals.
Additional information required to process the loan includes a credit report showing a minimum FICO score of 580, an appraisal showing evidence of equity in property, title insurance in favor of the Village of Walden as mortgagee and property and casualty insurance showing the Village of Walden as a named insured in an amount at least equal to the replacement value of the premises.
There are several required fees a resident must pay. They must pay an application fee of $425. Title insurance can be paid directly by the borrower or may be added into the loan amount. New York State Mortgage Tax and Orange County Clerk recording fees must also be paid.
Walden residents interested in participating in this program can apply online at villageofwalden.org. Once on the site, residents should click on departments and scroll down to the building inspector page. There the application can be found on the right side of the page along with additional information on the program. Applications can also be obtained at the Village of Walden Building Department or the village office on the third floor of the Walden Village Hall.
For more information on the loan program, residents can call Walden Village Manager John Revella at 845-778-2177 ext. 1500.