Burlington County plans to use federal funding to boost and expand its emergency home repairs program and heater and air-conditioning replacement program so that more low-income homeowners become eligible for assistance.
The Burlington County Commissioners voted to authorize the expansion of both programs with $250,000 in federal funding received through the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Burlington County is a premier destination to live, work and raise a family and we want it to remain that for all residents,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “Every resident deserves to live in a safe and comfortable home and expanding these programs will help more families remain in their residences without sacrificing other basic needs such as food and health care.”
Burlington County’s Emergency Home Repairs Program provides grants to income-eligible homeowners for repairs to damages or conditions that may pose an immediate threat to the residents’ health, safety and welfare, including inoperative heating, water or electrical systems and defective roofs.
Separately, the Heater and Air Conditioner Replacement Program provides grants to qualified low-income homeowners to help purchase and install new heating or cooling systems that are older than 25 years and determined to be unfixable.
Both programs are administered by the Burlington County Department of Human Services and the Division of Community Development and Housing.
Among the changes approved by the Commissioners, the maximum grant for emergency home repairs increases to up to $10,000, up from a $3,500 maximum. The maximum grant for heater or cooling system replacement increases from $6,500 to up to $10,000.
Also, homeowners from Beverly, Burlington City, Medford Lakes, Mount Holly, Palmyra, Pemberton Borough, Pemberton Township, Riverside, Springfield and Wrightstown are now eligible for aid. Homeowners from these towns were previously excluded because of U.S. Housing and Urban Development rules.
The income limits are set by HUD rules and remain unchanged.
“Home ownership is essential to our communities, but we know it can come with financial challenges. These programs provide a critical safety net for families who are most in need,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Tom Pullion. “Raising the funding caps and expanding eligibility helps to keep up with rising expenses and ensures no qualified homeowner is denied support simply because of their zip code.”
Residents seeking more information about the home repair and heating and AC replacement programs and how to apply, can find details online at https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/257/Community-Development-Housing or by contacting the Division of Community Development and Housing at 609-265-5072.