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Detroit Offers Homeowners Zero Percent Interest Loans to Help Repair Homes

Using a tape measure

In an effort to put Detroit back on the right track, Mayor Mike Duggan announced in his State of the City address that interest-free home loans would be made available for residents looking to repair their properties.

“You only pay back what you borrow,” said the mayor’s chief of staff Alexis Wiley. “There are neighborhoods where your income doesn’t matter and they will be able to apply for those loans.”

Homeowners who qualify will be able to borrow anywhere from $5,000 to as much as $25,000 to repair and improve their homes, which should be more than enough to fix things up considering the fact that, according to research from Scarborough, more than half (56%) of Americans who made home improvements in the past 12 months invested $1,000 or more doing so. Best of all, borrowers have 10 years to pay the exact amount — and only the exact amount — back.

In order to qualify for the zero interest loans, homeowners must have lived in their homes at least six months prior to applying, have a credit score of at least 560, and be current in their taxes, home insurance, and a few other guidelines. According to Wiley, the city is also willing to work with homeowners to help them meet these qualifications.

According to the program’s website, health and safety hazards must be addressed first before other repairs can be made. Some of the repairs that qualify for the program include electrical work, furnace replacement, roof replacement, plumbing, door and window replacements, porches, and structural support.

“We wanted to develop a program that would help people who are in their homes but need to fix it up,” said Mayor Duggan. “Maybe they need a new furnace, maybe they need a new roof, maybe they needed new plumbing. Yesterday, with the agreement of HUD and a group of foundations, we have a new eight-million dollar loan pool that will be available at zero percent interest.”

The loans will be available to homeowners in early March.

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