WEST VIRGINIA — An extension of a Covid-19-era program assisting homeowners with housing-related costs is now helping them to fund home repairs.
The West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program was implemented following the onset of Covid-19 in late January of 2020 to assist West Virginia homeowners facing financial hardships through the pandemic, including helping people with mortgage costs, utilities, property taxes and insurance.
The program expended almost $20 million to 4,700 homeowners across the state, helping them avoid foreclosures and other homeowner-related risks and debts.
Last week during one of Governor Jim Justice’s regular media briefings, Executive Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund Erica Boggess announced a new component of the rescue program that would fund homeowner repairs necessary to maintain the safety and livability of a homeowner’s primary residence.
Boggess said the newly-extended program, the Homeowner Assistance Fund Emergency Home Repair would provide repairs to accessibility features in a person’s home, modifications such as chair ramps or bathroom grab bars, roof repairs, heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical system repairs, or structural problem upgrades.
However, Boggess said this isn’t a program that people should expect any major renovation projects through.
“This is not a remodeling program, these are repairs that are critical that would allow a homeowner to safely remain in their home rather than having to move,” Boggess said.
Boggess said the West Virginia Housing Development Fund can provide up to $10,000 in repairs for each eligible household. She said eligibility is the same as it was for Homeowners Rescue Program, which included income limits and Covid hardship requirements.
Boggess said to visit WVHDF’s website to learn more about the eligibility for the program, as well as starting the necessary task of finding a contractor for the repairs.
“Homeowner repairs must be completed by licensed and insured contractors that are selected by the applicants,” she said.
Boggess said the necessity for homeowner assistance for some in the Mountain State continues to be ongoing in the wake of Covid-19.
“There’s a huge need I know in the state for these types of repairs that will allow people, especially our elderly population to stay in their homes, so we’re really hopeful that people will take advantage of this opportunity,” Boggess said.
For those who have already received assistance through the Homeowners Rescue Program are automatically eligible for this program and do not need to fill out a new application. WVHDF can also provide paper applications to those who do not have computer access.