Bloomfield’s Development Director Tammy Roberts says Bloomfield has not been utilizing a program that is available through AHEAD Housing for counties that are part of Area 15 Regional Planning Commission.

“I have been working with Matt Naumann, Program Manager of AHEAD Housing, and learned six area counties have been given $2,236,579.53 for housing improvements from 2012 to 2021. Davis County has only taken advantage of $165,269 of this,” she said. “We are not utilizing this program as we should. Jefferson County has done $285,000 worth of work; Van Buren County $147,000, and Wapello County has used lots of the funding.”

The City of Bloomfield sponsors a housing incentive program for new construction, which allows $10,000 toward a newly-constructed home worth $150,000 to $200,000; $12,000 toward a home in the range of $200,000-$300,000; and $15,000 for a new home worth $300,000 and up.

However, Bloomfield does not have an assistance program to update and/or improve energy efficiency in its older housing stock. This is where Roberts feels the AHEAD Housing could be of benefit — not just in Bloomfield but all of Davis County.

For example, Roberts said households at or below 30% of the MRB/HUD income limits could be eligible for a deferred loan of up to $12,000 for owner-occupied housing repair or rehabilitation. The deferred loan would be repaid at the time of the transfer of the real estate to another party. No homeowner match is required for repair or rehabilitation or URGENT repair loans.

As income levels rise, higher levels of interest are required and a payment schedule is set up. For example, 2% interest is charged and a loan of $7,500 will be amortized over a five-year period with payments due monthly for households between 66% and 80% of the MRB/HUD income limits.

The program is also available for owners of rentals. Roberts said when a renter moves out, landlords can get a $7,500 loan per rental unit with a $30,000 maximum to repaint, install new carpet, etc. The loan can be amortized over a five to ten-year period with a 2% fixed loan. A dollar-for-dollar match is required on Rental Housing Repair/Improvement loans.

Roberts said this program does not compete with banks, but fills a void.

The financial assistance can be used for basic home repair such as roofs, windows, siding, and doors; heating and cooling; plumbing, and to resolve accessibility issues.

Roberts said Naumann is willing to visit residents and assist with funding applications. She and Naumann are also doing a Facebook live and Youtube session on the loans at noon on July 28. (Go to City of Bloomfield Community and Economic Development Facebook page.)

Information on AHEAD will be going up on the City of Bloomfield’s website next week, and Roberts plans to include informational flyers in utility bills as well.

“I’m excited for what this program could do for our community,” she said.