Financial aid for lead reduction is often unused in New Hampshire

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This Laconia property owned by community developers in the Lakes Region recently obtained a lead-safe certificate after abatement work that removed lead paint from the exterior of the building and an exterior door to the building. basement, as well as lead paint dust found in one of the window wells. first floor. The project, which Carmen Lorentz, the agency’s executive director, called “small,” cost $ 14,915.

According to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, which has reduced lead paint in 1,399 housing units statewide since 1998, many homeowners do not realize that financial assistance is available to remove or encapsulate lead. in the house through federal grants, state loans, or both. .

Eligibility is determined by the income level of the people who live in the house or apartment, not the owner’s income offsite. Federal and state options are intended for people with low to middle income. The income guidelines are slightly more lenient on zero-rate government loans.

For example, a landlord or homeowner in Belknap County may borrow money from the state’s lead risk reduction fund if the income of the tenant or homeowner is $ 57,680 or less for a single resident, or $ 82,400 or less for a family of four.

Typically, the amount of a grant varies depending on the size and condition of the property, but $ 12,000 is considered a reasonable estimate, according to the NHHFA. The state lends up to $ 100,000 for homeowners and $ 11,000 per rental unit.

But the interest or knowledge of the two options is slow.

Relatively few people in the Lake District are using federal funds for lead reduction. As of mid-2017, around 70 New Hampshire homeowners outside of Manchester and Nashua (who administer their own federal lead reduction programs) have been assisted by NHHFA grants, which come from the US Department of Housing and of Urban Development, to eliminate or encapsulate lead. , according to the NHHFA.

In 2018, Senate Bill 247 was enacted, creating a $ 3 million revolving loan fund that provided more than $ 600,000 in zero-interest loans to 31 New Hampshire homeowners. Loans for the reduction of lead paints are secured by liens. Borrowers are required to repay them when their properties are transferred or sold. The fund – which is replenished as loans are repaid – currently stands at around $ 2.4 million.
The NHHFA administers both state loans and federal grants. For more information visit nhhfa.org.

This article is shared by the partners of The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborationnh.org.

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