Since the early 1990s, the city of Olympia has been providing funds to make improvements on rental homes. The city announced this week that its Rental Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund program is back this year, after being revived last year.
The program is in partnership with Homes First, a local rental housing nonprofit. Through them, funds from the Community Development Block Grants are used to rehabilitate rental units for low-income renters.
In the past they’ve replaced roofs, plumbing and more. But the city hopes to help with more in the future, such as addressing health and safety concerns and upgrading heating equipment, windows, siding and more.
For landlords and rental property owners, no monthly payments are required on the revolving 30-year loans. They aren’t paid back unless the property is sold or refinanced.
Requests for funds can be made to the city through an application process, which can be found online on the city’s website under the CDBG page. Requests have to serve low- and moderate-income tenants, according to the release. Those interested also can complete a pre-screening eligibility form online.
Applications are reviewed by city staff for qualifications and depend on how much funding is available at the time. According to the city’s 2022 CDBG action plan, about $638,000 of funds from the state Department of Housing and Urban Development has been allocated to Olympia.
Anastasia Everett, the city’s CDBG program specialist, said the city is excited for the partnership with Homes First and to continue providing loans to keep the city’s rental properties in good shape.
“Homes First is an invaluable asset to our community, and we look forward to supporting the preservation and revitalization of Olympia’s low-income rental properties,” she said in the news release.