"A unique program:" Starting January 1st, homeowners can apply for Milwaukee's STRONG Homes Loan program

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With the signing of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s 2015 city budget, Milwaukee homeowners will soon be able to tap into $1 million in partially-forgivable loans to fund essential home repairs as a part of the STRONG Homes Loan program.

The Milwaukee Common Council doubled the $500,000 that was originally set aside for the program during its budget deliberations, President Michael J. Murphy said, because of the program’s capacity to provide relief to property owners whose homes have lost significant value during the foreclosure crisis.

“This unique program shows great potential to support homeownership and promote neighborhood stability. We expect to see many people apply to be a part of the STRONG Homes Loan program," Murphy said.

Starting in January, owner-occupants can apply for loans of up to $20,000 to pay for emergency repairs, essential rehabilitation and code correction orders, with interest rates between zero and three percent. Qualifying households must have an income at or below 120 percent of the area median ($84,360 for a family of four). 25 percent of the loan amount will be forgiven if the owner stays in the home for 10 years.

“Supporting middle- and working-class homeowners is crucial to increasing neighborhood stability. This program will assist them in making much-needed repairs and maintaining the value of their investments, all while improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods," Alderman Robert Bauman said.

A term sheet is attached. More information is available at milwaukee.gov/NIDC.

READ IT: More information on the STRONG Homes Loan Program