City’s Program Improves Rental Units
12/18/2006

Despite the recent downturn in the housing market, rental housing continues to be the only affordable option for most citizens. Unfortunately, low-income families face difficulties in attaining safe and suitable rental options.

Recently, Tom Wray, Owner/Manager of the Terrace Tri-Plex apartments in central Fresno openly questioned, “How do rental owners keep up with the rising costs of maintenance and routine repairs?”

The City of Fresno Housing and Community Development Division’s Rental Rehabilitation Loan program’s purpose is to rehabilitate rental units for properties with two to ten units.

The Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program is funded through funds from the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) and provides zero interest loans to property owners for repairs and improvements. In return, property owners agree to keep a certain number of units at affordable monthly rents.

The program is specifically marketed to property owners with rental units that are in a marginal state of disrepair so that the program is utilized as a preventative measure to avoid a property’s decline into “slum” status. Repeat or major code violators on file with the City are NOT allowed to participate in the program.

According to Mr. Wray, the City of Fresno Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program has proven to be an economically viable option, as well as a beneficial investment, in his community. “The program was great in that it allowed major improvements to be made to my tri-plex unit with minimal outlay of cash upfront and a great loan at zero percent interest. The complex was in need of a new roof, front doors, bathroom renovations, paint and carpets.”

Types of allowable rehabilitation activities include:

  • Major and moderate improvements and repairs related to health and safety
  • Accessibility improvements for the physically impaired
  • Weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades

Long tem benefits from the Program include: 

  • Improved Rental Housing Stock
  • Annual Inspections of Properties to Ensure Housing Quality

Standards are Maintained

  • Affordable Housing Opportunities Provided to Working Families

Asked if he would participate in the Program again Mr. Wray replied: “I have been a landlord for twenty years and currently own and manage one tri-plex unit, three single family dwellings, and a condo. This is the first program of this type I have participated in. I would certainly participate in future programs, should they become available.”

To speak with Mr. Wray or to sign up for the Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program and/or other rehabilitation programs, please contact Esko Siipola with the City of Fresno Housing and Community Development Division at (559) 621-8518.

Additional background on this program is also available on the Internet at www.fresno.gov/Government/DepartmentDirectory/PlanningandDevelopment/Housing/RentalRehabilitationLoanProgram.htm.

CONTACT: Rhonda Jorn, Public Affairs Manager (559) 621-7777 Patti Miller, Public Affairs Administrator 621-7795

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