Access Community Action Agency has announced the launching of a new program called Accessing Home Windham County to help property owners receive zero percent interest loans to improve housing for low income households. Loans will be available to eligible property owners to make improvements in multifamily properties of two to ten units.
Access has received $1.5 million from the Department of Housing (DOH) to improve housing stock through the rehabilitation of affordable housing. The program seeks to ensure that low income residents have access to affordable, safe, and sanitary housing. All of Windham County is eligible; however, priority will be given to projects located in Willimantic, Danielson, Greater Windham and Greater Killingly and for units located in Neighborhood Revitalization Zones (NRZ).
In order to be eligible for Accessing Home Windham County zero interest loans, at least 51% of all of the units in the structure must be occupied by families which are below 80% of the median income. Loans of up to $40K will be available with loan terms ranging from 10 to 20 years. 50% loan forgiveness will be available for projects involving the remediation of lead, asbestos, and other health hazards, and for units that are in owner-occupied buildings. 100% loan forgiveness is available for uninhabitable units and units in pre-designated areas. Full details about the program and how to apply can be found on the Access website www.accessagency.org or by calling Tammy Rainville, Property Rehabilitation Project Manager, at 860-450-7400, ext. 7415 or Kathy Crees, Vice President of Community Services, at 860-450-7416.
Accessing Home Windham County is part of the outstanding work that has been done by the Northeast Coordinated Access Network to achieve the Ten Year Plan to end homelessness in Windham. Between March and June, the Network helped 55 homeless people find secure and stable housing as part of the Rapid Results 100 –Day Challenge to End Homelessness. The network coupled this accomplishment with landlord engagement goals to support landlords in building community by providing safe and affordable rentals. In addition to the DOH funding for Accessing Home Windham County, the Melville Trust provided $10,000 to assist with security deposits and rent.
The Northeast Coordinated Access Network project is part of Connecticut’s efforts to end homelessness among Veterans by the end of 2015, and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Earlier this year, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that Connecticut was one of four states chosen for Zero: 2016, a national initiative organized by the nonprofit Community Solutions and dedicated to ending Veteran and chronic homelessness within the next two years. At the same time, the governor announced an expansion of existing permanent housing subsidies meant to help the state move toward that goal.
Access is proud to work with all of the partners in the Northeast Coordinated Access Network, including the Holy Family Home and Shelter, Perception Programs, United Services, Windham Area Interfaith Ministries, Windham Human Services, Windham Regional Community Council, and Windham Region No Freeze Hospitality Center. Working together, the community is closer than ever to meeting the goals to end homelessness in Windham.
The Access Community Action Agency serves Windham and Tolland Counties, CT. Founded in 1965, Access’s mission is to create opportunities that empower people and communities to achieve and sustain economic stability. Access offers a number of community-based programs in support of this mission, including provision of supplemental food, emergency shelter, energy assistance, energy conservation services, job and life skills training, youth mentoring, group homes, senior housing and more for low-income families and individuals. For more information about Access’ services, call (860) 450-7400 in the Willimantic area, (860) 412-1600 in the Danielson area, or visit www.accessagency.org.