Home improvement loans of up to $20k available for Camden residents

St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society in Camden will administer the fourth phase of the Camden Home Improvement Program, which will provide $3.5 million in forgivable loans for home improvements, state and city officials announced Monday.

Loans of up to $20,000 are available for homeowners who earn below 80 percent of area income (for a single person that is $45,000 or less; for a family of four that would be $65,000 or less). Officials estimate that about 140 homeowners will be able to make electrical, gas and plumbing repairs.

Improvements in home energy-efficiency also are available through these loans, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, which is administering the funds through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. HMFA and St. Joseph’s will receive servicing fees totaling about $700,000.

Residents who remain in their homes for at least five years after borrowing the money would not have to repay it, said St. Joseph’s director of operations Felix Torres-Colon.

The $3.5 million to fund the program is coming from the state Economic Recovery Board for Camden, which was set up during the 2002 state takeover to disperse $175 million in revitalization-related grants and loans. 

St. Joe’s will be screening eligible applicants and overseeing subcontractors. Applicants can contact St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society at (856) 966-8117 or visiting them at 20 Church Street, Camden, NJ 08105.