The Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) recently celebrated an important milestone, surpassing its 3,000th loan. As of June 30th, HMLP has committed a total of 3,195 loans. These loans have helped many Massachusetts residents make essential modifications to their houses that allow their household members with physical and cognitive limitations to remain at home.
A state-funded loan program first enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1999, HMLP assists homeowners and small landlords to finance home accessibility improvements. CEDAC works in collaboration with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to administer HMLP. Eligible homeowners can qualify for loans to finance modifications such as accessory dwelling units, the installation of ramps and lifts, accessible features for kitchens and bathrooms, the widening of doorways, and fencing.
People most often associate disabilities with just physical limitations, but HMLP also helps with modifications that support those with cognitive disabilities such as autism and dementia. For instance, HMLP has funded sensory spaces that are designed to help individuals with behavioral issues or developmental delays to safely develop and engage their senses and reactions to stimuli.
Homeowners work directly with one of seven regional provider agencies across the Commonwealth. Provider agencies review applications for eligibility, draft loan documents, and coordinate inspections of the property before and after the project. To learn more about the loan process, watch our short white board video here.
Every community has access to a regionally-located provider. In Western Massachusetts, homeowners can contact Way Finders, Inc. or the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; in Central Massachusetts, residents can contact RCAP Solutions Financial Services, Inc.; Community Teamwork, Inc. covers communities north of Boston; South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. works with MetroWest residents and residents on the Cape and Islands; in Boston, there’s Metro Housing Boston; and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions helps residents in the southeast region of the state. Click here to view the program brochure.
Since the program’s inception through June 2019, CEDAC and its regional provider partners have lent just over $76 million in loans through HMLP to support home modifications. In 2017, HMLP increased the maximum loan amount from $30,000 to $50,000 to reflect the increases in construction costs across Massachusetts communities over the past decade.
HMLP is an affordable financing program available to a wide range of Massachusetts residents – see the program brochure for income guidelines. All loans carry a 0% interest rate with a deferred repayment. This means homeowners are not required to make monthly payments, and repayment is required only when the house is sold or title is transferred.
Surpassing 3,000 loans only tells part of the story for HMLP. For residents, 20 years of HMLP loans has translated to the installation of 1,802 bathroom adaptations, 434 kitchen features, 1,685 ramps and lifts, 1,007 doorway reconfigurations, and 293 safety features. Each and every modification can be the difference between keeping a loved one at home and sending them to a care facility.
Most importantly, HMLP has been able to evolve as caregiving has changed over the years and families have sought more opportunities to meet the needs of their loved ones in their own homes. All those involved with HMLP – CEDAC, MRC, DHCD, and our regional partners – take pride in helping to facilitate a safe, accessible home for all their clients and families.