Forgivable Loans Available For Emergency Home Repairs In Sterlin - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Forgivable Loans Available For Emergency Home Repairs In Sterling, IL

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Home repairs are not cheap, but for some homeowners in Sterling, IL they could be eligible for some free money.

It's for "forgivable" loans for low-income families who have emergency repairs on their homes. Residents say this can help improve their quality of life and city officials say it will raise property values.

Sterling homeowner Laurie Starr said she needs a new roof. On it, you can see the tiles peeling up and the need for repairs. But she said money to spare for these kinds of fixes aren't easy for her family to come by. That's why she's applying for a "forgivable loan," which doesn't require you to pay it back.

The best part? City officials said there's not much of a catch.

"With his health not as good as it used to be and we're both getting older, it's just hard," said Laurie Starr.

Laurie's husband was raised in the house they've been living in together for the last 45 years.

They've been looking to fix their roof for the last decade, problem is they haven't been able to afford it.

"It's got a lot of spots in it that are rotting and I'm afraid that it's going to start going through," said Starr. "It's already got problems up in the attic."

The City of Sterling just got $80,000 from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

It's for emergency home repairs for things like water heaters, windows and roofs.

"We found this is the only way we're going to get any help," said Starr.

Sterling's Mayor said they can award up to $20,000 per residential property, so they're looking for about four households to get the loans.

He said it'll help improve property values and give homeowners some relief.

"If one house in a neighborhood does something major to make itself better, the other properties start to follow that," said Mayor Skip Lee.

He said these loans are forgivable, meaning if the homeowner makes the repairs and lives at the home for at least five more years they don't have to pay back a dime.

"For somebody who's invested in the community and is going to stay here, there's no catch," said Mayor Lee.

Something Laurie Starr said wouldn't be a problem for her and her husband.

"We don't plan on going anywhere in the future, so yeah if we could just get this one thing fixed I think we'd be pretty set for the rest of our lives," said Starr. "I think we could live a little happier and a little calmer and not have to worry about that."

Pre-application forms are already available at city hall. To meet income guidelines for the loans, you must be at 80% or below the area median income which is $46,650 per year for a family of four.

You also must be a Sterling resident and can only use the loan for a residential property.

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