March 2, 2022 –
For Immediate Release
March 2, 2022
City of Rio Rancho Announces Home Repair Pilot Program
RIO RANCHO, N.M.–The City of Rio Rancho has partnered with non-profit Homewise, Inc. on a Home Repair Pilot Program aimed at assisting lower income Rio Rancho homeowners make necessary health and safety repairs to their home.
Qualifying residents can receive up to $25,000 in a deferred, forgivable loan to address heating/cooling systems, plumbing systems, roofs, doors, windows, stucco/siding, electrical systems, and other principal components. All work must be performed by a licensed, insured, and bonded contractor.
“This pilot program is an opportunity to help our residents with financial barriers be able to live safely in their homes, and it is an important reinvestment initiative that can be of a particular benefit in our older neighborhoods,” said Matt Geisel, Rio Rancho City Manager.
From March 2 through March 31, residents can utilize the online form www.homewise.org/repair to see if they are income eligible to submit an application on April 1. Additionally, during this time, residents can speak one-on-one with a Homewise staff member by calling 505.243.6566 to learn more about the program and review the qualification process and required qualifying documents. On April 1 at 8:00 a.m., the application portal will open for residents to submit their applications and associated qualifying documents. More information about qualifications can be found at www.homewise.org/repair. Deferred, forgivable loan approval will continue until all available funds are awarded.
Deferred, forgivable loans will be secured by a mortgage lien and promissory note and will be valued at the cost of repair. Loans will be forgiven over a five (5) year period at a rate of 20% per year as long as the homeowner/legal property title holder continues to reside at the property.
The Rio Rancho Governing Body (Mayor and City Council) has earmarked up to $300,000 to be made available for deferred, forgivable loans. The source of the funding is Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) distributed to the City of Rio Rancho. Federal guidance regarding use of ARPA funds notes that assistance to households via home repairs is an eligible expenditure, and anyone low- to moderate-income is presumed to have a negative economic impact due to COVID-19 and is therefore eligible to receive assistance via a program such as home repair.
As Rio Rancho’s partner, Homewise will income qualify homeowners, verify completion of repairs made by contractors, offer technical assistance and education to homeowners, and will receive an administrative fee for their services.
“Homewise is honored to partner with the City of Rio Rancho to offer an affordable way for Rio Rancho homeowners to maintain and improve their homes. This program allows homeowners to protect their most significant financial asset which in turn protects the family’s main source of wealth,” said Elena Gonzales, Homewise Senior Director, Policy & Resource Development.
Homewise is a New Mexico-based nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) founded in 1986. Our mission is to help create successful homeowners and strengthen neighborhoods so that individuals and families can improve their long-term financial wellbeing and quality of life. Our services include financial literacy education and coaching, real estate services, affordable mortgage lending and down payment assistance, loan servicing, refinance and home improvement lending. We strengthen neighborhoods by increasing homeownership through real estate development, property rehabilitation, and revitalizing communities to benefit existing residents. Since Homewise was founded in 1986, over 17,000 New Mexicans have attended our financial capability and homebuyer education workshops. During that time, we’ve helped over 5,600 New Mexicans purchase homes, over 2,300 make energy efficient home improvements, and more than 800 refinance their mortgages. We’ve also built over 800 high quality, energy efficient and affordable homes. To learn more, visit our website at www.homewise.org