PUTNAM COUNTY — Existing single family homeowners who reside in Putnam County may be eligible for funds for private owner rehabilitation and emergency home repairs through the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP). Ashley Siefker, who helps manage grant and other funding for the county, says that this year’s funds represents, “The most we’ve ever had.” Siefker encourages anyone who may be eligible, or who would like to receive more information, to contact her at: 419-523-3656.

According to information shared by Siefker, the approximately $1.5 million in total funding is split between Putnam and Allen counties, excluding Lima. The program is designed to target a certain number of housing units per county, but does not designate a specific dollar amount to each community. With its portion, Putnam County is expected to help fund 29 home repairs and 16 rehabilitations.

Examples of private owner rehabilitation include, but may not be limited to, updating electrical, plumbing, septic and well systems, heating, foundations, hot water heaters, roof repairs and replacements, siding, and windows.

Emergency home repairs include, but may not be limited to, replacement of non-working furnace, hot water heaters, roof repairs or replacements, water/sewer hookups, septic and well systems, accessibility improvements, and updating hazardous electrical systems.

The maximum amounts available are $30,000 per private homeowner rehabilitation and $8,000 per emergency home repair.

For private homeowner rehabilitation, the assistance comes in the form of a 5-year declining/deferred loan. There is no interest charged and no monthly payments. 80 percent of the amount borrowed will be forgiven over five years as long as the owner occupies the property as his or her primary residence. The remaining 20 percent is in the form of a deferred loan, which will not require repayment until the homeowner sells, vacates, or transfers the title to the property.

For emergency home repairs, homeowners receive a direct grant, and repayment is not required.

To meet eligibility requirements, a households must have an annual income that does not exceed set amounts that range between $41,450 per year for a household of one to $78,150 for a household of eight.