Each year, the City of Gardner, through its Department of Community Development and Planning (DCDP) allocates part of its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) award, from the state's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), to fund a Housing Rehabilitation Program. The Program provides technical assistance and grants, in the form of deferred payment loans, to eligible property owners to repair violations of the Massachusetts sanitary code (105 CMR) and abate lead paint and asbestos hazards. Examples of sanitary code violations include inadequate wiring, plumbing,
heating, insulation, windows, doors, and roof repair. The program is not allowed to do any new construction (creating rooms where previously there were none) or cosmetic repairs.
Technical assistance includes an inspectional site visit, preparing a scope of work and estimate, soliciting bids from qualified contractors, providing contract documents and construction supervision.
To date, the Program has renovated over 275 housing units, benefiting over 750 low and moderate-income residents.
The purpose of the program is to encourage private investment in established residential property, strengthen neighborhoods and homeownership, and provide safe, sanitary, affordable housing for low and moderate-income households.
How to Qualify
To be qualified for the Program, the applicant must:
- Own the home and not have any outstanding municipal bills (taxes, water, and sewer).
- For a single family home to be considered, the family must meet the income guidelines, as provided annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Multi-family homes (6 units or less) are eligible provided that 51% of the units are occupied by families who qualify per the income guidelines. Non-resident landlords may also apply.
A 15-year lien, in the amount of the grant award, is attached to the property. If it is a multi-family, an Affordable Housing Restriction will be filed which will govern rent limits and increases for the life of the grant. If the property is held for 15 years, the lien is discharged (at the property owner's expense) and the loan is forgiven. If the property is sold or if the title transfers anytime within that 15-year period, 100% of the grant award must be paid back to the Program.
The Program strives to make efficient use of limited program resources and ensure timely performance while maximizing the program benefit. Mobile homes are not eligible for this program.
The City of Gardner reserves the right, without further notice, to amend the program guidelines, establish priority or waiting lists, or suspend program operations or deny applications when deemed in the interest of the program and the City.