Is this a SCAM?
WCCRC is a not-for-profit Rural Preservation Program working under the auspices of the New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal. For more information on this program visit https://hcr.ny.gov/neighborhood-and-rural-preservation-programs
WCCRC is also a participating Housing Counseling Agency certified by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For more information on this program please visit https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/hcc/hcc_home
What is the purpose of the program?
The Home Improvement Programs were created to assist eligible low and moderate households with repairs or replacement of major home systems (such as a roof or heating system) to correct existing interior and exterior health, safety and substandard code conditions.
How can this program benefit my household?
- The program provides funding to finance repairs and/or replacements of major home systems and health/safety issues.
- The home improvements can make homes safer and more energy efficient.
- A professional inspector prepares the detailed work specifications, oversees the scope of work and construction, and confirms the work gets completed according to the work specifications.
- A HUD certified Housing Counselor will review your monthly budget and help you work towards a goal of financial stability.
How much will this cost me?
There is no cost to the participant. The funding from these programs comes from State and Federal Grants written by WCCRC staff. A lien will be placed on your home for a regulatory period, which is different for each grant funding source, usually between 3 and 10 years. You are required to live in the home during this period. If the home becomes unoccupied during this period, due to sale or death, the money will have to be paid back on a declining scale specified for each grant.
What are eligible types of work?
Funds may only be used to eliminate health violations, safety violations and to make the home more code compliant.
This includes, but is not limited to, systems in need of replacement or substantial repair such as:
- Plumbing (including septic and wells)
- Weatherization (windows, door, insulation)
- Other safety related work such as accessibility modifications and lead remediation.
Work on uninhabitable spaces such as garages, porches, and yards are not eligible.
What are the eligibility requirements?
- For most programs, you must own a residential property within the program’s geographic area and provide a copy of the recorded deed.
- The property taxes and, if applicable, mortgage must be paid up to date prior to submitting your application.
- You must have homeowner’s insurance.
- The household combined annual gross income must be below the maximum income amount listed for your household size in the program that covers your geographic area.
- Some programs have additional requirements such as age and disability. Please refer to the individual program fact pages.
What is considered income?
The combined annual gross income of all household members including wages, regular overtime, social security, disability benefits, unemployment benefits, pensions, dividend/interest income, alimony, etc. A complete list of required documentation will be in the formal application package.
What about my confidential information?
All information, including finances, is kept confidential and stored in a locked facility. Only duly authorized persons will have access to the case files.
What about rental properties?
Some of our grants allow renters to apply, with permission from the landlord.
How do I apply?
You can either submit a pre-application from the link on this website or you can contact the Program Coordinator. You will then be placed in the applicant pool/wait list. When you are invited to apply depends on the current openings for the program that covers your geographic area. With current programs you will be invited to apply within days. With other programs, you will be invited when an opening becomes available. The program will invite potential applicants in the order of which they contact us.
What happens after I am invited to apply and submit a formal application?
When you are invited to apply, you must fill out the application and collect all supporting documentation. Once complete, call the office to set up an intake appointment. The program coordinator will review your application and support documentation. You will also meet with our HUD certified Housing and Financial counselor to go over your budget. After a thorough review by staff, you will be certified either eligible or ineligible. If you are determined eligible, a rehab specialist will schedule a property inspection with you to determine if your property meets the minimum requirements and to determine the full scope of work. The rehab specialist will prepare a detailed scope of work for your review and approval. Once you review and approve the scope of work with the rehab specialist, the work is sent out to bid to our list of qualified licensed contractors. The submitted bids are reviewed, and the job is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. The homeowner has the option to select a higher bid and pay the difference between the chosen bid and the lowest responsible bid. The homeowner and rehab specialist then have a pre-construction conference at which time the construction agreement and program lien documents are executed. The program staff will manage the construction process. Payments will not be released to the contractor until approved by a rehab specialist and the homeowner. Upon completion, you get to enjoy the home improvements!