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Dear Mr. Y:
Real estate is certainly one of the big money makers in our country. I was reading a report recently that said for mom and pop businesses, people in real estate make twice as much as anyone else. So it seems that now that you got started you have to figure out every possible way to stay in the game.
You mentioned that your units are being rented out by low-income families. This is a good thing because there is likely to be more money for fixing up low-income rentals than anything else. If they are Section 8 tenants, be sure to contact your local HUD Section 8 office to investigate fix-up programs. I know other people who have received grants as well as 0% interest loans from these programs.
I hope you are ready to do some work on this project. We found a whole lot of stuff that are good possibilities for you. But now what you have to do is clear away some time. You now have to start contacting these offices yourself. Find a good phone where you can sit and read magazines or watch TV while you are on hold getting switched around in the government.
There is no magic to getting the money you need to fix-up your place, but it may take you a bunch of work on the phone. And don't worry about the applications; they'll be pretty easy when you get them. The trick is finding the right application, and now you have all the tools to do just that.
1) Go through all the programs that are listed under housing (search by keyword) in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance. This is the government's directory of all money programs. You can search online at www.cfda.gov. Contact any program that has the slightest possibility of helping you. Even though you are looking for only grants, DO NOT SAY YOU NEED A GRANT. People do not realize that 90% of the free money available from the government is not called grants. They can be called direct payments, loans you don't have to pay back or even free services that will fix your home for you. Because you are renting to low-income individuals I would especially focus on programs offered the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at www.hud.gov
2) Find State, Local Government and Non-Profit Programs for Real EstateYou have to contact your state, city and county officials. Almost every local jurisdiction has money for housing and real estate. Many have money for fixing up houses. It will take some effort, but it's worth the time. You can also locate your state, local and county government offices on the web at http://www.govengine.com/localgov/index.html
3) More Local SourcesListed below are additional local sources that should be of particular interest to you. Make sure you contact each of these as well-
The following organizations can help you find local non-profit organizations that offer financial assistance with housing in your area. These organizations do not provide money to homeowners. What they can do is direct you to organizations in your area that may have funds or know where funds can be found for housing issues.
Below is a list of programs available from local organizations that we were able to identify in a recent research project we did on the Nassau County, New York. This serves as an example of the kinds of programs that can be available in your local area:
1) Up to $14,000 to Rehabilitate Your Home in Freeport 2) Assistance to Help Pay Your Heating Bills 3) Financial Assistance to Prevent Eviction 4) Get Help for up to 24 Months 5) Reduced Rent for Income Eligible Families 6) Up to $400 to Help Pay Heating Costs 7) Seniors in Nassau County Get FREE Weatherization Services 8) Seniors Get up to 150 Gallons of Fuel FREE 9) Nassau County Owned Rental Units
If you are 62 years old or older and you own your own home, you may want to use a reverse mortgage to get some cash. In the past, the only ways to get cash out of your home was to sell your home or borrow against it. Now, reverse mortgages are available to help seniors tap into the wealth that has built up in their homes. Reverse mortgages don't require you to move or take on extra debt.
Reverse Mortgages work like traditional mortgages, but in reverse. Instead of making a house payment each month, you receive a payment from your lender. Depending on the type of Reverse Mortgage and the lender, you can take the money in a lump sum, in monthly advances, through a line-of-credit or a combination of the three. Most Reverse Mortgages do not require any repayment of principal, interest or servicing fees, as long as you live in your home. These loans are called rising-debt loans for that reason. The money you receive usually may be used for any reason. For more information contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP; www.ftc.gov
Cities, counties, townships, and even local non-profit organizations around the country offer grants to people who need emergency work done on there home or apartment. The income requirements can go up to $42,000 for a couple.
To find programs you may qualify for in your area, you must search: 1) your city or township government, 2) your county government, as well as 3) local non-profit agencies and local development corporations. Make sure you check with all of the following offices for help in locating appropriate organizations in your area: 1) your local library, 2) your local elected officials, 3) your local United Way, and 4) all housing agencies in your area. Local government offices can be identified at www.govengine.com and your local United Way can be identified at http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/. Listed below is a sampling of similar local programs around the country. They should give you an indication of the kind of help that may be available in your area, too.
1) $2,500 Grant For Emergency House Repairs For 62 Or olderNeighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, Inc.Jamaica, New Yorkhttp://nhsjamaica.org/services/senior-emergency-loans.asp
2) Free Minor Home Repairs For 62 Or older And Income Less Than $41,000Los Angeles Housing DepartmentLos Angeles, CAhttp://losangeles.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lacity.org%2Flahd%2Fhndywrkr.htm
3) $5,000 Home Repair Grant For 55+ And 50% Of Median IncomeFirst Ward Action Council, Inc.Binghamton, NYhttp://www.firstwardaction.org/seniorepair.html
4) $3,500 Grant For Emergency Repairs For Seniors Making $25,650Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment AgencySacramento, CAhttp://www.shra.org/Content/Housing/HomeRepair/ERP.htm
5) $2,500 Grant For Emergency Repair For Seniors Making $25,350City of Colorado Springs, Housing Rehabilitation Program, Emergency RepairColorado Springs, COhttp://www.servingourseniors.org/services.htm
6) $5,000 Grant To Fix-Up 1 to 4 Family Units For Seniors Making $25,100Margert Community CorporationNew York City's Queens County, NYhttp://www.margert.org/majorprograms/restore.html
A non-profit organization called Hearts and Hammers has volunteers around the country who perform house repairs for seniors and people with disabilities. They can repair porches, siding and trim, replace winders or doors, provide landscaping, repair or replace exterior, and more. Income requirement can go up to $34,000. George and Laura Bush even contributed to this organization. Contact your local public library to see if there are volunteers in your area or contact one or both of the larger groups mentioned below to see if they can identify a group near you.
Getting little repairs done around the home is not only difficult for low-income seniors, it can be a problem for all seniors. Many communities now have programs run by volunteers or with public or private grant money that provides small repairs for seniors under certain incomes. Other areas offer handy man services at reduced costs from safe providers. To find programs you may qualify for in your area, you must search: 1) your city or township government, 2) your county government, as well as 3) local non-profit agencies and local development corporations. Make sure you check with all of the following offices for help in locating appropriate organizations in your area: 1) your local library, 2) your local elected officials, 3) your local United Way, and 4) all housing agencies in your area. Local government offices can be identified at www.govengine.com and your local United Way can be identified at http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/. You can also contact your local Area Office on Aging by calling 1-800-677-1116 or go to http://www.aoa.gov/eldfam/How_To_Find/Agencies/Agencies.aspListed below is a sampling of the types of programs that are available around the country.They should give you an indication of the kind of help that may be available in your area, too.
1) Senior Volunteers Do Handyman Chores For Price Of SuppliesCouncil on Aging Winchester Seniors AssociationWinchester, MAhttp://www.jenkscenter.org/new_page_9_COA.htm
2) 39 Organizations In NY Get State Money To Fix-Up Senior Homes With Incomes Up To $34,000Residential Emergency Services To Offer Home Repairs To Elderly (RESTORE)New York Statehttp://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ocd/progs/restore/ocdprgre.htm
3) $25 First Hour + Cost Of Materials For 60+Handyman Services For Tier Township ResidentsWillmett, ILhttp://www.wilmette.com/health/nurse.asp?nId=7
4) Minor Repairs, Home Modifications For Low- Income Over 60Safety of Seniors Handyman ProgramDenver, COhttp://www.voacolorado.org/handyman/
5) Free Handyman For 62+ And Income Under $41,900Handyworker Program Housing DepartmentLos Angeles, CAhttp://www.lacity.org/lahd/hndywrkr.htm
Free Homebuying And Homeownership Counseling ServicesThere are hundreds of government funded counseling centers around the country that will give you advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, credit issues and reverse mortgage. To locate offices near you contact: Housing Counseling Agencies, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 451 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20410; 1-800-569-4287; http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hccprof14.cfm
Are you tired yet? I know it is a major effort to track down what you need. And it takes work to get what you really need in life. The problem is that our life has become so complicated and no one person has all the answers. Even the experts don't even know what they are talking about nowadays. But what is wonderful about this complicated society is that most of the good information is free, and most of the best help in our society is free. But the people handing out the free stuff do not have money to advertise that they are giving away the money. So it is up to us citizens to find out what is there that we are already paying for. America is a wonderful country full of opportunities; we just have to start learning how to use the system.
Once you go thru this process of finding the money you need for your home, your life will change because you will now know that you can live the rest of your life believing that the world is full of answers to anything, and you just have to put in some time to get them.
You now have all the tools to do it. Thirty million Americans a year use these resources, and you can be among them.
Matthew LeskoPresidentInformation USA, Inc.www.lesko.com