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A city program is aiming to give a hand up for homeowners with repair needs who may not be able to get traditional financial help.

The City of Fort Wayne’s Homeowner Repair Loan Program is a means for local residents to get some much needed cash to help with roof or furnace repair or replacement this year.

The program is paid for with federal dollars from the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), according to Mary Tyndall, Fort Wayne’s Public Information Officer for Community Development.

“The city gets HUD dollars every year, and a portion of it goes to pay for programs like this,” Tyndall said. “But to be eligible, homeowners must fall below 80% of the median area income.”

And while past programs have helped cover the cost of everything from accessibility problems – such as building wheelchair ramps – to general maintenance, like repairing worn doors and windows in older homes, this year’s grant is targeted specifically to help pay to repair or replace older homes’ roofs and furnaces.

So far this year, according to Tyndall, the city has taken more than 50 loan applications for the program. However, she said, none of those loans have been closed on, as of yet.

Financial help for roofs can go up to $10,000, while money to help repair or replace furnaces is usually around $7,000, according to Tyndall.

Tyndall noted that most applicants require help from city officials – not just to navigate the loan process, but to make sure they qualify for the program to begin with.

She said the program is important for residents and the city as a whole.

“The City of Fort Wayne is always looking to improve our housing,” Tyndall noted. “It’s imperative to have safe and affordable housing for everyone. So, this is a way to invest in our older houses and older housing stock.”

It’s particularly crucial, Tyndall said, because many of these residents are not able to get other loans. “Sometimes,” she noted, “these residents can’t get traditional loans for this kind of thing.”

Tyndall continued, “It’s a way to make sure we invest in our older homes,” Tyndall said. “And a program like this can help these people stay in their homes and make sure those homes are livable.”

Anyone wishing to apply for city assistance through the program should call (260) 427-8585.

Michael Morrissey

Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer