NEWTON, NJ—The Town of Newton is partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture to host an event explaining a program that provides money for home repairs.  The event about grant and loan programs will be offered to all of the public.

The event will explain the USDA Rural Development platform which includes section 504 home repair loans and grant program.

The program’s main objective is the “assist very low-income owner occupants of modest single-family homes in rural areas repair their homes. This includes approved condominiums and manufactured homes on permanent foundations.”

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The event is being co-sponsored by Debbie Danielson, the Recreation Supervisor of the Town of Newton, and Rachel Bucci of Weichert Realtors and will be held in the Council Chambers/Court Room at the Town of Newton Municipal Building located at 39 Trinity Street in Newton.

There will be two sessions; one beginning at 3 p.m. and one beginning at 6 p.m. in order to accommodate as many people as possible, according to the organizers.  

A shuttle will be available for Newton residents only, although the event is open to anyone. If shuttle transportation is needed, contact Newton Recreation at 973-383-3521 ext. 228.

In order to apply for the 504 grant, one must meet the following criteria:

  • At least one applicant must be 62 years of age or older at the time of the application
  • Must be unable to repay a 504 loan (amortized over the maximum number of years)
  • Applicant must have acceptable ownership (to include life estate) and occupy the property
  • Grant agreement requires recipient to reside in household for three years after approval or else grant funds must be repaid

The grant’s purpose, according to the organization, is that “grant funds may be used only for repairs and improvements that will remove health and safety hazards or to make dwellings accessible for household members with disabilities."

In order to apply for the 504 loan, one must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must have repayment ability- based on income and a repayment ratio
  • Must have acceptable credit history
  • Outstanding 504 loans of $7,500 or more will be secured by a mortgage
  • Fixed interest rate of 1%

The purpose of the 504 loan is that the “loan funds may be used to remove health and safety hazards and make general repairs and improvements to properties, as long as the dwelling remains modest for the area."

The requirements for the dwelling are as follows:

  • The property must be considered modest and not have a value in excess of USDA housing limit for the area
  • No in-ground swimming pools

For more information on the program visit www.rd.usda.gov/nj. Or reach out to Michael Matthews who is the Housing Programs Director by phone at 856-787-7700 (office) or via email at Michael.mathews@nj.usda.gov.