Belen Jimenez, 93, has lived in her East New York home for over 30 years and when the roof started to fall apart, so did her dreams of staying in her home.
Her son Edward says everyday he worries about his mom and her home.
“A new roof would mean being dry and be able to fix things before being destroyed again by the rain,” said Edward Jimenez.
There's a new city program called Home Fix that can help homeowners like Jimenez fix their home. The program offers low interest, no interest, and forgivable loans. It's basically free money, NYC Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Louis Carroll said.
“Our loans are 0-5 percent interest. We are giving grants and forgiving loans. The needier you are, the better the terms,” said Carroll.
Carroll has over $12 million to give to homeowners.
Carroll, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio six months ago as HPD's commissioner, said the focus of home fix is also the focus of her mission, to prevent homelessness. The program launches Monday.
Carroll says she plans on giving the money to the neediest New Yorkers. Families can get from $60,000-$150,000 per home. The only qualification is the homeowner had to own and live in their home.
The program is available in all five boroughs.
Christie Peale, the executive director of Center for NYC Neighborhoods — the agency running the program — said it’s just cost effective for the city. New affordable housing costs about $500 a square foot. It’s just cheaper to keep people in their homes.
“It’s cost effective for the city, they can build up their equity, but also they have affordable rentals,” said Peale.
Interested homeowners can visit this website to learn more about the program and to begin the application process.