SALINA — Homeowners in the town of Salina will be able to make much-needed repairs to their properties thanks to a new loan program. The town is partnering with Home HeadQuarters to offer $15,000 home improvement loans at a 1% interest rate payable over seven to 10 years.
The program began June 15 for the neighborhoods of Mattydale, Galeville and Lyncourt. All other Salina homeowners will be able to apply beginning July 15.
“Those are the three neighborhoods that we’ve identified this program would have the greatest impact in,” Salina Town Supervisor Nick Paro told the Star-Review. “I wanted the neighbors in those communities to have access first.”
The program, which uses $500,000 of Salina’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, has already drawn applicants.
“Within two or three hours after my announcement, Home HeadQuarters let me know that they already completed their first application,” Paro said.
Homeowners can use the loans for exterior repairs (such as replacing the roof, windows or siding) or addressing issues of quality of life, safety and code compliance, such as plumbing, furnace or foundation repairs.
Paro said Salina’s program is similar to the Onondaga County Neighborhood Initiative, which offers loans up to $10,000 at 1% interest for certain neighborhoods around the county. The county also has a loan and grant program for exterior or emergency repairs.
While the county’s programs “encompass at least pockets of the town of Salina,” Paro said, he wanted to make sure Salina residents were covered in case the county changes its eligibility requirements or ends their programs.
“I saw the success of the program and knew it could really turn things around [in Salina],” he said.
Paro is also hoping the program will entice homebuyers to consider Salina. Smaller, well-maintained homes could attract first-time homebuyers or older people wanting to downsize.
“Town of Salina is an older community. We don’t have the opportunity to build a lot of newer houses,” he said. “People are starting to get priced out of these larger homes in neighboring communities.”
Attracting new residents means attracting more businesses as well, Paro said.
“Those businesses will be able to shoulder more of the tax burden,” he said.
Salina homeowners interested in applying can visit homehq.org/homeowner-loans-grants to learn more. Download the application form at homehq.org/s/Town-of-Salina-HIP-Application-1021.pdf.