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New Richmond re-starts no-interest loan program

Need to repair or upgrade your home? A no-interest loan program may be the key to accomplishing the task.

The City of New Richmond Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing Program has funds available for no-interest deferred loans to eligible low- and moderate-income homeowners and homebuyers for the purpose of home repairs and down payment assistance.

Landlords who want to fix up rental units in New Richmond and agree to rent to low- and moderate-income tenants may also apply for no-interest loans.

Previously the City spent all the money it had available for the loan program. Now some of the loans have been repaid and the money is available for new loans.

Eligible home repairs include replacing furnaces, doors, windows, roofing, siding, hot water heaters, wiring and insulation.

The funds may also be used to fix up walls, floors, ceilings, foundations, sewer and water laterals, and to construct ramps for handicap accessibility.

"It's not for cosmetics or new construction," said Janet Zimmer, housing administrator with Cedar Corporation, who is helping the City administer the CDBG Housing Revolving Loan Fund program. "If you don't like the color of your carpeting, then we can't help you. But if it's not decent, safe or sanitary, the work may qualify."

Loans are being awarded beginning Jan. 1 and loans will continue as long as funds are available. About six new loans are expected to be awarded in this round of applications.

"We have limited funds, so it's on a first come, first served basis," she said.

The average loan amount is about $15,000. The no-interest loans will not need to be repaid to the City until the home is sold or is no longer the owner's primary residence.

The current gross annual household income limits for homeowners and renters who participate in the CDBG housing program are $43,050 for a one-person household, $49,200 for a two-person household, $55,350 for a three-person household, $61,500 for a four-person household, $66,400 for a five-person household, and $71,350 for a six-person household.

City residents interested in the loan program are required to fill out an application and have their property inspected prior to approval. Eligibility for funds is based on those factors plus income guidelines.

The City is asking interested homeowners, renters and landlords to call for additional information, eligibility requirements and to request a loan application.

Call Janet Zimmer at 1-800-472-7372 or e-mail her at, or call Director of Planning and Community Development Robert Barbian at the City offices at 246-4268.

Cedar Corporation assists 24 different communities in western Wisconsin with their housing programs. Zimmer has been hired on a temporary basis, until the available funds are expended.