City offers help to homeowners

Homeowners can get some help from the city to upgrade their properties. The city is accepting applications for this year’s round of its Housing Rehabilitation Program. Under the program, the city provides loans to help homeowners correct health- and safety-code violations, remedy emergency situations, eliminate serious potential health, safety, and lead hazards, or improve handicapped access. Typical repairs include electrical and plumbing upgrades; window, door, and roof replacements; heating system repair; lead abatement; and work to accommodate people with disabilities, such as bath alterations and adding access ramps. “The rehabilitation program has been very successful and has assisted families who would otherwise be unable to make the needed repairs to their homes,” Mayor Kimberly Driscoll said in a statement. Funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program is open to owner-occupied households that meet income guidelines. Repayment options depend on the applicant’s income and ability to pay. For lower income households, no monthly payments are required and the loan is forgiven after 10 years (single-family) or 15 years (2 to 4 units), or due upon sale or transfer of the property before those periods expire. For more information, go to the Department of Planning and Economic Development’s page on the city’s website,, or call 978-619-5685.