Summer is the season for home repairs! For qualifying South Orange/Maplewood residents needing exterior work on their houses, the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is now offering the Home Maintenance Loan Program.

This special program lends to South Orange/Maplewood neighbors regardless of income level and is now open for applications. When banks require a stringent, mortgage-secured process, the Coalition steps in to offer low-cost loans to residents; a total of 15 loans are available.

“It has been shown that stably integrated neighborhoods are ones where all homes have high curb appeal and where residents and potential homebuyers feel confident that their investment is secure. Improved property maintenance contributes directly to higher property values and achieves neighborhood stabilization,” shares Coalition Program Director Audrey Rowe. “By assisting residents who might not be in a position to receive a bank loan for home repairs, we help to improve the overall appearance of an entire neighborhood.”

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Recent South Orange Home Maintenance Loan recipient Denise shares, “I am retired and my husband had to leave his job on disability. We just didn’t have the finances to paint the house and repair the porch. Our home looks wonderful now and our monthly payback is affordable.”

About the Home Loan Program:

  • Qualifying home owners can borrow up to $5,000 at prime interest for up to three years with this unsecured loan for external home repairs.
  • Loan amount is based on written estimate obtained by the applicant from a licensed contractor; money goes directly to the contractor upon completion of work.
  • Applicable repairs include shutters, sidewalks, steps, porches, windows, exterior painting, doors, driveways, exterior lighting, roofing, chimney, masonry, garage and permanent landscaping.  Repairs must be visible from the street.
  • The Coalition works hand in hand with the joint South Orange /Maplewood Code Enforcement Departments to verify that the repairs needed are at the level required to qualify for the Community Coalition Home Maintenance Loan.
For more information or to apply, please go to: http://www.twotowns.org/neighborhoods/home-maintenance-loan-program/