NEW BRITAIN – A relaunch of a city Neighborhood Preservation Program aims to provide technical and financial assistance to property owners for residential rehabilitation.
“A community’s vitality is directly influenced by the quality of housing available to its residents,” Mayor Erin Stewart said. “Through the city’s Neighborhood Preservation Program, you can receive rehabilitation assistance to help improve living conditions, expand housing opportunities, upgrade neighborhoods and increase your property value. I encourage property owners who are dedicated to upholding the integrity of our wonderful city to make use of this valuable program.”
In an announcement Monday, the mayor said the program has helped hundreds of New Britain homeowners since its inception in 1977 but has had limited utility from residents in the past decade. She said she hopes the relaunch will help encourage residents to take advantage of the program.
The Neighborhood Preservation Program is overseen and administered by the Commission on Community and Neighborhood Development. Staff of the city’s Department of Community Development will work with residents to put together a financial assistance package using Community Development Block Grant funds or HOME program funding, according to the city.
Financial assistance offered through this program may include a loan for 100% of funds needed for the rehabilitation work at a low interest rate, for a maximum of 10 years; assistance for up to $50,000 in the form of a forbearance loan, which requires qualification of a homeowner as “very low-income;” and elderly individuals and those on a fixed income may also be eligible for this assistance.
As a part of the program, the city has created and upgraded several property renovations and building codes, such as work on insulation, storm windows and doors, kitchen and/or bathroom remodeling, interior and exterior painting, plumbing, siding, electrical upgrades and stairways/porches.
For code upgrades, the city has created a Fire Code Assistance Program, which is aimed to help with properties that have three or more units that are in need of fire code upgrades; the Healthy Homes New Britain program, which is committed to protecting children from lead poisoning and making homes safe and healthy; and the New Britain ROOF Assistance Program, which will help low income, elderly, disabled or families with children. Households on fixed income that are in need of roof replacement are also eligible.
“This program has truly helped revitalize and preserve neighborhoods in our community for years,” said Alphonse Wright, chair of the commission on community and neighborhood development. “I’m glad to see it relaunched, continued, and expanded upon on under Mayor Erin Stewart’s leadership.”