The state-funded Home Modification Loan Program provides loans to make access and safety modifications to the primary, permanent residence of elders, adults with disabilities, and families with children with disabilities. Such modifications allow people to remain in their homes and live more independently in their communities.
The proposed modifications must relate to the functional limitation of the beneficiary as documented by a professional with whom there is a client history. This program is not a home repair program. Some examples of projects funded through this program include ramps, hardwired alarm systems and other safety modifications, as well as accessible bathrooms and kitchens.
There are six agencies throughout the state that administer the program for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).
Based on the income guidelines, up to $30,000 (inclusive of all costs) may be borrowed in either a deferred payment loan (DPL) or an amortized loan, which is secured by a promissory note and a mortgage, except in cases of loans that are under $2,500 which are only secured by the promissory note. An HMLP loan may be obtained only one time per property. Borrowers may not come back for more funding for the same property once their project is complete.
Homeowners eligible for a 0% DPL will not have to repay the loan until the property is sold or has its title transferred. 3% DPL or 3% amortizing loans must be repaid in 5 to 15 years, depending on the amount of the loan, and require monthly payments.
As of January 2012, more than 1500 loans equaling more than $33 million have been made since 2000, with the average loan being a little more than $22,000. Almost 80 percent of those loans are no interest loans. The modifications that have been completed with these loan funds include 554 bathrooms, which have been altered to meet the needs of resident, and 575 ramps and/or lifts have been installed. Modifications have been made in 227 of the 351 communities across the Commonwealth. The funding for the projects comes from the state capital bond fund allocated annually by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance.
A brochure for the program can be downloaded here Home Mod Brochure (PDF).
In addition, for more information, please visit http://www.mass.gov/mrc/hmlp or take the time to review the Home Modification Impact Assessment Executive Summary (PDF)
Home Mod in the News!
Click here for the May 2nd Op-Ed in The Somerville News by State Senator Patricia Jehlen entitled "Loan program provides options for the needy."
Click here for the July 26, 2012 article entitled "A loan granted, a life grown smoother" by David Rattigan. Click here to read it on the Boston.com website.
Click here for the March 19, 2012 press release entitled "Home Modification Loan Program Reaches Significant Milestone: 1500 Loans Approved to Help Keep Individuals with Disabilities and Elders in their Own Homes"
Variations of this article landed in Banker & Tradesman, Wicked Local Hingham and the State House News Service!