How do I qualify for assistance?
To qualify for assistance, your household must be within the low- to moderate-income (LMI) program limits. A LMI household is defined as one whose income is no more than 80 percent of the "median income
" of Erie County
Is assistance based on net income, and whose income is considered?
Assistance is based on the gross income of all household members over the age of 18.
What is the maximum assistance that I can receive?
Assistance will be based on the funding source or grant program that best fits your needs.
What type of assistance can I get?
Applicants will be assisted with the inspection of the dwelling, planning, bid acquisition, bid selection, repairs, and/or payment of work completed.
What types of repairs can I have done on my property?
Repairs will concentrate on corrections of health and safety items of the property, along with ensuring that all items are in compliance with state and local building code requirements. Common repair items often involve roofs, gutters, dry rot, windows, doors, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and other details relating to essential utilities or structural integrity.
What types of repair items are not covered by rehabilitation assistance?
Rehabilitation assistance does not cover items such as fences, yards, and pools that do not directly affect the safety or viability of the home.
What is the intake process for RACE programs?
The intake process for RACE programs is as follows:
- The applicant completes application and sets an appointment for an income screening.
- A safety/property evaluation inspection conducted by the Authority will be scheduled.
- Staff will process the application for eligibility and third-party verification will be requested.
- Work write-up will be created and bids will be requested.
What if I know a contractor?
You are encouraged to inform that contractor to apply
to be on the Authority's licensed contractor list for an invitation to bid on your and other projects.
What are the qualifications? How do I qualify?
To be eligible for assistance through RACE programs, you must first qualify under the income guidelines (which can vary by program). Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate that your mortgage, taxes, and water/sewer/refuse bills are current with no past-due balances owed. You must have a current homeowner's insurance policy on the home. You also must be able to produce a current, valid photo ID for each household member aged 18 and over, a birth certificate for each household member aged 17 and under, and social security cards for all household members. If you are employed, you must be willing and able to have a Verification of Employment completed by your employer. If you have any bank accounts, you must be willing and able to have a Verification of Assets form completed by all financial institutions where you hold an account. You must be able to provide proof of all income from all sources for the most recent 90 days. You must be willing to let RACE inspectors inspect the entirety of your property, inside and outside.
How long does it take to process the applications?
RACE administers several different programs and receives a LOT of applications. We are unable to provide specific timelines of when an application will be processed. Assume that it will usually take at least 2-3 months.
How long does it take to get work done? How soon will my work happen?
Once an application is approved, it will then take a few months for your property to go through the inspection and bid processes. Beyond that, we can provide no specific timeline for project completion. It can largely depend on the availability of materials and labor.
Can I apply if I'm a tenant?
If you live in a property that contains 4 units or fewer – yes, you can. However, your landlord must be willing to participate in our programs, and must also complete a separate landlord application.
Can I receive assistance for a mobile home?
We are unable to perform work on a mobile home unless it is on a permanent foundation.
What if I'm on a land contract or "renting to own" my home?
If you have a legal contract that is on file at the courthouse, you may apply as a homeowner. Otherwise, you will have to apply as a tenant, with the homeowner applying as a landlord and being subject to the landlord requirements.
Can you force my landlord to work on my house?
No, we cannot. We can contact your landlord to let them know what kind of work we offer, the terms, and invite them to participate, but they must be willing participants.
Do I have to pay the money back?
Some of our grant programs have a lien period of 5 years. If you receive funding through one of those programs, we will place a mortgage for the amount of the work being done, for a period of 5 years. If you remain in that property for the duration of the 5-year period, the mortgage is satisfied and no monies are owed to us. If you sell the house before the mortgage is satisfied, you will have to repay a pro-rated amount of the total project cost.
There is a second owner listed on my deed who doesn't live here anymore. Does that matter?
Yes. If the other party is an ex-spouse, you must provide evidence that you were awarded sole legal ownership of the property. If the other party is deceased, you must provide a copy of a death certificate. Otherwise, the other party will have to be present at the closing and willing to sign off on work being performed, or proof of separate residency must be provided.
Do I have to find my own contractor?
No, RACE maintains a list of approved project contractors for our work.
Can I have work done right away? It's an emergency (e.g. have an issue; roof leak, pipe leak, faucet broken, porch falling down).
RACE unfortunately does not offer any sort of emergency funding or assistance.
Am I able to receive reimbursement for work I already paid to have done on my own?
The Redevelopment Authority does NOT offer reimbursement for work a homeowner has already paid to have done. There are absolutely no exceptions.
What if I'm told my child has been diagnosed with high lead levels?