Buffalo is a city filled to the brim with historic houses. Keeping up with these architectural gems is not easy. They take time, devotion, and money. For those homeowners who feel that they are always “going it alone”, Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) wants you to know that help is on the way. The group is currently launching a Historic Home Loan Fund Program, generously funded by the Estate of Paul Maine and the 1772 Foundation – a foundation that supports revolving loan funds across the country.
“The protection and restoration of our region’s historic homes and neighborhoods are an important part of Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s mission.” explains Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. “The expenses related to such restoration sometimes discourages lower income homeowners from taking care of home restoration projects promptly, which can cause further expense or loss of historic fabric, and may also discourage neighborhoods from seeking local historic district status over concerns regarding regulations. This program will assist low income homeowners with historic properties to ensure that all of our neighborhoods are able to access the benefits of historic preservation.”
The program was successfully piloted last year to help the African Heritage Food Cooperative acquire 238 Carlton Street and install a new roof and undertake extensive masonry repairs.
“Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s program will be an important model for other programs around the country,” stated Executive Director Mary Anthony Our investment is in response to the talented staff of PBN, and their progressive approach to historic preservation in under-served areas.”
Homeowners can apply for loans up to $10,000, with 3% interest. These loans must be applied to:
- Exterior restoration projects such as porch, roof, siding, and window repairs
- Code compliance issues
- Accessibility modifications
- Repairs to any other exterior character defining features
The loans are available to homeowners that:
- Intend to remain in their homes for at least five years
- Make up to 112% of the Area Income Limits for Low Income Families as defined by New York State Affordable Housing Corporation
And finally, the home must be:
- Within a local historic district or individually landmarked
As for the work itself, the quality of the repairs and upgrades must be “consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.” For those looking to apply for the funding, PBN will help to compile the scope of work and even hire suitable contractors.
Applications are open now; review of applications are on a rolling basis and initial applicants will be contacted by starting June 1 with funding decisions.
To apply and for full terms and conditions, visit pbnsaves.org. For more information, the PBN office at 716-852-3300