Fix-up Fund For Accessibility Improvements

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) today announced the implementation of the Fix-Up Fund Accessibility Loan Program. The program is designed to provide low-interest loans to eligible homeowners interested in making their home more accessible for a family member with a disability.

To be eligible for this loan, the homeowner or a member of his/her family, related by blood, marriage, adoption, or guardianship, must have a disability which places them at risk of institutionalization as certified by a county case manager.

Eligibility for a Fix-Up Fund Accessibility Loan is also based on the household’s projected gross annual income. The maximum household income for this program is dependent on the household’s geographic location and size.

“This new MHFA program will be beneficial to homeowners who need to make their home accessible to a family member with a disability,” explained Teresa Black, program administrator with the MHFA. “Homeowners interested in applying for this loan should remember that the program is designed to allow persons with a disability to remain in or return to their homes, in an effort to keep them out of long-term care facilities; as a result, homeowners should focus their improvement plans on accessibility.”

“This program is an affirmative step by the State of Minnesota to provide support to families caring for their family member with a disability,” said Shirley Patterson, director of the Division for Persons with Developmental Disabilities at the Department of Human Services. “Accessibility home improvements represent one way in which persons with a disability can remain in their home with supportive family members. This is not only a desirable outcome for all family members, but is extremely cost efficient compared to alternative out-of-home services.”

Interest rates on a Fix-Up Fund Accessibility Loan are based on the projected gross annual household income, at the time of loan application. A qualifying homeowner can borrow up to $15,000 and repay the loan with fixed monthly payments. The repayment term will be based on loan amount, household income and the amount of current debt. The loan can be prepaid at any time without penalty.

The Minnesota Housing Financing Authority also has a limited amount of deferred loan funds available to make accessibility improvements to meet the basic needs of the person with a disability. There is no interest charged or periodic payments required on these deferred loans if the property is not sold or the title transferred for a minimum of five years.

Eligibility for a deferred loan is based on maximum annual household income, as adjusted by MHFA. In addition, the condition of the person with the disability must be of a long-term physical nature that limits mobility and functioning in the home.

For additional information and a brochure on the Fix-Up Fund Accessibility Loan Program or the Deferred Loan Program, contact MHFA toll free at 1-800-652-9747 and ask for Fix-Up Fund, or at 296-7615 in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The Agency TDD phone number is 612/296-2361.

The MHFA is a state agency that was established to provide affordable financing for the purchase, construction and improvement of housing for Minnesota residents with modest incomes.