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Moderate income homeowners eligible for low cost repair loans

Johnston homeowners can still apply for low cost home improvement loans funded by a $180,000 Community Development Block Grant administered by the town planning department. Susan Leonardi runs the program for Johnston as well as North Providence.

The program may be used to address code violations, door and window replacement, heating and hot water system repair and much more, according to a letter from Mayor Joseph Polisena sent home to the parents or guardians of Johnston students.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be low- and moderate-income owner-occupants of single- or multi-family homes in Johnston or North Providence. The definition of moderate income is a family of four with an income from all sources of $57,500 or less.

Johnston Town Planner Pam Sherill said loans are generally less than $12,000, although repairs on one property, including lead paint removal, totaled $24,000 last year. She said 22 loans were granted last year and that there are 10 to 12 applicants on the current list.

She said the program has been particularly effective in older neighborhoods, which are mostly in the eastern sector of town.

At the time of the loan, a lien is placed on the property that is due upon the sale or transfer of the property.

Applications are available at Town Hall, Senior Center, Department of Public Works, and Tri-Town.

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