Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I found out if my home is in the target area for a housing grant?

A. The Home buyer grants target area is anywhere within the city limits of Carbondale. The SFOOR and CDAP target areas are shown on the maps in the SFOOR or CDAP section. You can also call the Housing Programs Administrator at 618-549-5302 x 233 to verify if your home is eligible for the housing rehabilitation grants.

Q. How can this be a grant if it says it is a forgivable loan?

A. This can most easily be explained by example. If you apply for and receive a SFOOR grant, your home will receive funds for rehabilitation for as much as $40,000. Since the grant awarded was more than $15,000, the length of the forgivable loan will be over a 10 year period. This means that a portion of the $40,000 loan will be forgiven for every month you occupy the home for the next 10 years. At the end of that time, the entire loan will have been forgiven and the loan turns into a grant.

Q. What if I have to sell my home before the 5 or 10 years is up?

A. This can most easily be explained by example. If you move out of your home and you will no longer occupy it as your principal residence, then the loan or “recapture” agreement is triggered. Once the home is sold, your mortgage will be paid off and then whatever is left unforgiven on the loan will be paid from the remaining money. Any money remaining from the sale of the home once the recapture is paid will go to you.

For example: You participated in the CDAP program and used $40,000 to rehabilitate your home. It has been 5 years since the rehabilitation has been completed. You accept a job offer in a different town and so must move and sell the home. Your mortgage pay off the home is $10,000 and there is $20,000 unforgiven in the SFOOR loan. If you sell your home for $60,000, the $10,000 mortgage would be paid off, the $20,000 unforgiven portion of the SFOOR loan would be paid and you would receive the remaining $30,000.

A second scenario: You sold your home for $40,000. You owed $40,000 on your mortgage and $20,000 is unforgiven in your SFOOR loan. The mortgage would be paid off first. Since there would be no money left over from the sale of the home once the mortgage was paid off, the remaining balance on the SFOOR recapture loan would be forgiven and you would no longer owe any money for the recapture loan.

Q. What happens if I have to move out of the home for medical reasons?

A. This question is a major concern for many of our potential applicants. One example would be that you were a recipient of one of our housing grants and had to move into an assisted care or a nursing facility before the 5 or 10 year recapture period is up. As long as you do not sell your home, your recapture will not be triggered.

Q. If I participate in a housing grant, can the City take away my home?

A. Under no circumstances will the City take away your home as the result of your participation in the housing grant programs. As explained above, if you must move before the end of the 5 or 10 loan term, you will be required to pay back the unforgiven portion of the loan from the profit of the sale of the home. You will not be responsible to pay back the unforgiven portion of the loan above the profit you make on the home.

Q. How do I find out if I am eligible for a housing grant?

A. Call the Housing Programs Administrator, Travis Taylor, at 618-549-5302 x 233.

Q. The grant literature refers to income eligibility requirements. What are those requirements?

A. Some of the City’s housing programs have income eligibility requirements. If a grant restricts its recipients to households of a certain income, it is indicated in that section of the grant’s description. Most grants with income limit restrictions specify that you are income eligible if the total income for your household is at 80% of the area’s median income. Please call if you are unsure if your household will qualify or if you need guidelines for households larger than 8 people.

Q. What kind of homes are eligible for the housing grants?

A. The housing grants were designed for single family owner occupied homes. The housing rehabilitation grants are not eligible for rental homes, apartments and duplexes. Manufactured homes are approved on a case by case basis.

For the first time Homebuyers grant, duplexes and properties with more than one housing unit are not eligible for the program. Manufactured homes are approved on a case by case basis.

If you are in doubt about the eligibility of your home or the home you are interested in purchasing, please call the Housing Programs Administrator.

Q. My home is not currently in the SFOOR or CDAP target area. Is there a chance my home would be in the target area in the future?

A. Possibly. The target areas are determined from data gathered from city wide surveys. These surveys indicate the areas which are in the most need of the housing rehabilitation grants. The target area is different for every program and may be in your area in the future.

Q. Can I be put on a waiting list or a notification list for upcoming housing grants?

A. Yes, the Housing Programs Administrator keeps a list of people who wish to be notified if their home is in the target area of a housing grant. If interested, call Travis Taylor at 618-549-5302 x 233.

Q. How long will it take to rehabilitate my home?

A. One you have been chosen as a recipient for the grant, the time will vary. We can only work on a few houses at a time so depending on where your home falls on the list, it may take up to a year before we begin on your home. Once the rehabilitation begins, the home will be complete in approximately two to three months.

Q. The grant literature says we can get up to a certain amount of assistance, what happens to the rest of the money if my home does not use all of the allotted grant money?

A. This can most easily be explained by example: The City of Carbondale is awarded a $400,000 grant of SFOOR funds to help rehabilitate homes. Because each grant recipient can receive a maximum amount of $40,000, we project that we will be able to rehabilitate 10 homes with the total grant funds.

A person applies for and is awarded the SFOOR grant. At the end of the rehabilitation, the home only required $30,000 of work. The remaining $10,000 will go back into the SFOOR grant fund. After the projected 10 homes have been completed, any remaining money in the fund is used to rehabilitate an 11th home. This process is repeated until all grant funds are expended.

Q. What kinds of things can be to done to my home if it is chosen for one of the rehabilitation grants?

A. The goal of the housing grants is to rehabilitate homes and bring them into compliance with City Codes. This means that all life, health and safety issues are addressed and corrected. Some issues may include roofing, wiring, plumbing, and weatherization. Once the home is brought up to City Code, general improvements such as siding, deck repairs and painting may also be included in the rehabilitation.

Q. Will I need to relocate during the rehabilitation of my home?

A. Perhaps. There may be some instances where the homeowner would have to vacate the home for periods of time. The most common cause of relocation would be during lead based paint hazard reduction. Lead abatement is a requirement of any housing grant. The time you would need to spend away from your home varies on the amount of lead abatement needed. In past cases, homeowners were out of their home anywhere from 3 or 4 days to 4 weeks. Since participation in the City’s housing program grants is entirely voluntary, the City does not give assistance to the homeowners for their relocation.

Q. Can I use the grant funds to do the rehabilitation work myself?

A. No. The City of Carbondale has a list of pre-approved contractors who bid on housing rehabilitation jobs. The lowest responsible bidder is awarded the contract. If you are interested in applying to become a pre-approved contractor, please contact Travis Taylor, Housing Programs Administrator, at City Hall or call 618-549-5302 x 233.

For additional information contact:
Travis Taylor, Housing Programs Administrator
City of Carbondale
P.O. Box 2047
Carbondale, IL 62902-2047
Phone: 618-549-5302 x 233
Fax: 618-457-3289

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