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SAN LEANDRO NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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SAN LEANDRO NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                 SAN LEANDRO

                                                                NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        CONTACT: Tom Liao
September 14, 2009                                                    Housing/CDBG Manager
                                                                      (510) 577-6003


 City Housing Rehabilitation Program Provides Relief to Low Income Homeowners
The City of San Leandro continues to offer grants of up to $5,000 and low-interest loans of up to
$35,000 to qualifying low income homeowners through its Housing Rehabilitation Program. The
primary purposes of these grants and loans are to eliminate health and safety hazards, replace obsolete
or worn fixtures, and make general property improvements to enhance the City’s housing stock. New
roofs, windows, insulation, bathroom and kitchen improvements, and handicapped accessibility
features reflect some of the common items completed under this program. The program utilizes pre-
certified general contractors who provide quality workmanship and materials to achieve the goal of a
safe, sanitary and decent home.

The program has been administered for the last five years by Neighborhood Solutions, a consulting
firm that specializes in municipal housing rehabilitation program design and administration. The City
has outsourced administration of the program due to its staffing capacity limitations and the need for
staff with greater technical expertise. Neighborhood Solutions administers similar programs in the
cities of Pleasanton and Livermore. The administrative and inspection staff from Neighborhood
Solutions works closely with City staff while handling all of the project development and project
management for the program, including application intake, initial home inspection, project
development and quality oversight. City building staff handles all code inspections, and the result is a
team approach to providing high quality project management. The program encourages homeowners’
input in developing their scopes of work, and selection of a contractor.

As one of the City’s most popular affordable housing programs, the Housing Rehabilitation Program is
an integral part of the City’s strategy to preserve the stock of affordable, owner-occupied housing in
the City and to stabilize and strengthen San Leandro neighborhoods. Long time owners who are
“equity rich” but who cannot afford a home improvement loan such as fixed income seniors are typical
recipients of this assistance; however, homeowners with limited equity and savings are often also
program participants.
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“This is such an important program for our community,” said Mayor Tony Santos. “It really gives
people an opportunity to keep their homes in good condition when they personally may not have the
wherewithal to afford basic maintenance projects. It also helps seniors stay in their homes longer,
which is an important benefit.”

Some of the recent thank you letters from satisfied local homeowners who have benefited from the
program include Ms. Bernice A., who wrote, “Thank you so much for the grant that I received… the
work done was excellent. Thanks also to all the people I’ve met in person and on the phone - everyone
was so nice. Great program.” In addition a Ms. Patricia T. wrote, “What a joy to know the house is
restored to good condition and I won’t have major problems to deal with… What a beautiful job.”

In the recently completed fiscal year 2008-09, the program awarded 11 loans: six were for extremely
low income (less than or equal to 30% of the area median income) and five were for very low (between
50-80% of the area median income). Nine of the loan applicants were senior citizens, and seven were
female head of households. Of the 27 grants awarded, sixteen were for extremely low and 11 were for
very low homeowners. Twenty of the grants were for senior citizens, and 21 were for female head of
households. The program is annually funded with Housing Set-Aside funding from the Redevelopment
Agency of the City of San Leandro.

If you are interested in learning more about the City’s Housing Rehabilitation Program, please call
Neighborhood Solutions at 510-577-6008. The City’s website also provides general information on the
program at http://www.ci.san-leandro.ca.us/CDHousProgs.asp.

For more information, call Neighborhood Solutions at (510) 577-6008 or City Housing Services
Division staff at 510-577-6004.

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