SALINA — Homeowners in the town of Salina will be able to make much-needed repairs to their properties thanks to a new loan program. The city is partnering with Home HeadQuarters to offer $15,000 home improvement loans at 1% interest payable over seven to 10 years.
The program started on June 15 for the neighborhoods of Mattydale, Galeville and Lyncourt. All other Salina owners will be able to apply from July 15.
“These are the three neighborhoods in which we have identified that this program will have the greatest impact,” Salina Town Supervisor Nick Paro told The Star-Review. “I wanted neighbors in those communities to have access first.”
The program, which uses $500,000 of Salina’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, has already attracted applicants.
“Two or three hours after my announcement, Home HeadQuarters let me know that they had already filled out their first application,” Paro said.
Homeowners can use the loans for exterior repairs (such as roof, window or siding replacement) or to address quality of life, safety and code compliance issues, such as plumbing, furnace or foundation repairs.
Paro said Salina’s program is similar to the Onondaga County Neighborhood Initiative, which offers loans of up to $10,000 at 1% interest for select neighborhoods in the county. The county also has a loan and grant program for outdoor or emergency repairs.
While the county’s programs “encompass at least parts of the city of Salina,” Paro said, he wanted to make sure Salina residents were covered in case the county changed its eligibility criteria or ended its programs.
“I saw the success of the program and knew it could really make a difference. [in Salina],” he said.
Paro also hopes the program will inspire buyers to consider Salina. Smaller, well-maintained homes could appeal to first-time homebuyers or seniors looking to downsize.
“The town of Salina is an older community. We don’t have the ability to build a lot of new houses,” he said. “People are starting to get paid for these big houses in nearby communities.”
Attracting new residents also means attracting more businesses, Paro said.
“These companies will be able to bear a greater part of the tax burden,” he said.
Salina owners interested in applying can visit homehq.org/homeowner-loans-grants to learn more. Download the application form at homehq.org/s/Town-of-Salina-HIP-Application-1021.pdf.