Approved earlier this year by the City Council, CHIP was created as a pilot program to provide housing rehabilitation grants to those who do not have sufficient funds to make necessary home repairs. To qualify, both the homeowner and property must satisfy specific criteria. Interested residents must own and currently occupy the home as their principal residence. In addition, eligible household income cannot exceed the qualifying low income limits for Riverside County as published annually by the State Department of Housing and Community Development.
“The last five years have been hard for our City and many of our homeowners have not had the money to maintain and repair their homes,” said Councilmember Steve Manos. “With this new program, we can help our residents and improve the livability, integrity and appearance of the City’s residential neighborhoods.”
The program was first suggested by Councilmember Manos following the elimination of the Redevelopment Agency to continue the City’s efforts to increase, improve and preserve the community’s supply of affordable housing. As part of the program, the City established an Affordable Housing Subcommittee, which included Council Member Manos and Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Johnson to formalize and launch the program.
Under the CHIP, eligible exterior improvements and repairs may include:
- Roof repair or replacement
- Exterior siding, painting and stucco
- Fencing and/or gates
- Structural improvements including broken windows, the front door and/or garage door
- Exterior access improvements and special features to aid the mobility of the physically disabled and/or the elderly
- Fumigation and treatment of termites and pest control
The grant is free as long as all conditions are met. Upon receiving a CHIP grant, participants are required to continue to occupy their homes as their principal residence, maintain the property in good condition, cannot engage in criminal activity and/or create a public nuisance. As long as these guidelines are followed for at least five years, the City will not require repayment of the grant. However, if any of these guidelines are violated, the homeowner may be responsible for the full repayment of the grant.
“Image is extremely important,” said Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Johnson “We are optimistic this program will provide the funding for much needed improvements to homes in our community and motivate others to make similar investments to beautify our City,” said Johnson.
This fiscal year, through June 30, 2014, the City budgeted $50,000 for the program from its Affordable Housing in Lieu Fee Account. The City will fund all CHIP grants on a first-come, first served basis. All applications will be date stamped and processed in that order.
Residents interested in applying for these funds, can review the program guidelines at www.Lake-Elsinore.org and complete an application packetor call (951) 674-3124 ext. 314 to request these materials. In order to be eligible for a CHIP Grant, proposed improvements must be approved by the City following a property inspection and work write-up. All improvement work must be completed by qualified, licensed and insured contractors. --Content provided by the City of Lake Elsinore