With the assistance of housing not-for-profit Rupco, the Town of Saugerties has applied for a grant through the New York Affordable Housing Corporation to help homeowners with repairs to at least 20 single-family homes in the community at no cost to the town or village. The proposal was approved 5-0 at the Jan. 17 Town Board meeting. Rupco has begun the application process with the state agency that they hope will come to fruition this autumn.
“We at Rupco have an unsolicited wait list of homeowners who need repairs — over 190 county-wide,” said Kathy Germain, Rupco’s vice president of housing services. “Over 30 of those people were from Saugerties, which has the highest number on our waitlist outside of the City of Kingston.”
According to Germain, the most common self-reported home problems include roof renovation and repairs to wiring and heating systems. After a homeowner is selected from the waitlist, Rupco sends a rehab specialist to the property to appraise the problem and works with the homeowner to find a contractor. The average cost of repairs averages between $15,000 and $25,000, according to Germain — at maximum, a homeowner could receive $35,000 worth of help. Assistance will be given in the form of a “zero-percent deferred loan with a forgivable term based on the amount of funding.”
“I feel this will provide some much needed relief to the homeowners who are eligible,” said Councilman Paul Andreassen. “It’s also a good program and noteworthy when a local Saugertesian like Bill Anderson is involved with the vetting and approval process. He’s a consummate professional builder and Rupco is lucky to have him on their team. Overall it’s good for the local economy too, especially with today’s headlines of a slight spike in unemployment in Ulster County and in the state.”
While the current proposal calls for the repair of 20 homes, Rupco may be able to attain more funding if they can determine additional local need. Applications for Rupco’s repair waitlist can be filled out at town hall, or homeowners can call Rupco directly at (845) 331-2140 or visit rupco.org/tag/wait-list/.
“We asked them to recanvas because not everyone knows about this potential program,” said Town Supervisor Fred Costello. “After we collect the applications, they’re going to score them in some capacity to choose who gets repairs. By need, we’ll make the decision and do as many repairs as we can.”