Starting on Thursday May 5, 2022, Stonington residents will have access to a new Town program that will enhance access to quality housing.
Thanks to an extensive collaboration with many staff, including members of the Human Services, Finance, Planning, and Selectman Offices, along with other issue experts, the Town of Stonington is able to put forward a meaningful new program for Stonington. Thanks to support from the Board of Finance and ultimately residents, the Housing Rehabilitation Program will be funded with $150,000 from the American Rescue Plan.
The objective of the program is to improve housing occupied by low- and moderate-income households in the Town of Stonington. The revolving loans will enable residents to make home improvements that they otherwise may not be able to afford. In Stonington, 34.8% of all households and 46.6% of rental households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Housing impacts so many areas of a person’s life, and without access to quality housing the related stressors can reach into so many aspects of a person’s life. Improving access to affordable, quality housing will take a great deal of tools and we are extremely grateful that the Town is able to launch one of those tools this week. This has the potential to help residents remain in their homes, in their community, for years to come.
The program will offer loans for specific home improvements and in exchange the Town will hold a mortgage and put in an affordable housing deed restriction for the length of the loan. The loan can be repaid through a payment plan, or for resident-owned properties can be repaid when the borrower sells, refinances, or transfers the property.
There are two types of loans available. First, no-interest, deferred loans are available to owner-occupied households earning 80% or less of median household income for the Norwich-New London Metropolitan Statistical Area. The loan can be repaid through a payment plan or when the borrower sells, refinances, or transfers the property. Secondly, low-interest loans are available to Investor-Owners, whose tenets meet income criteria and agree to specific affordable rent requirements. The loan rate shall be at 3%, payable monthly, over a five-year term.
Program guidelines and procedures are available on the Town of Stonington’s website here. Anyone interested in learning more about the program can contact the Human Services Department, and fill out a Social Service Intake Form.
The Human Services team will be available to meet with property owners and/or tenants to explain the program, its requirements, and the rehabilitation process. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis with one exception—an applicant needing rehabilitation work to correct an emergency condition affecting the health and safety of the household will be moved to the top of the waiting list.
Getting the new program off the ground took eleven months of work from many people. We are so fortunate in Stonington to have such dedicated staff who truly care about the community they serve. We are optimistic about the positive impact this new program will have, and its potential to sustain over time.