The Weatherization Assistance Program in Tennessee can help low-income households keep their hard-earned money from literally going out the window. The program allows for up to $7,100 per home for weatherization projects such as storm window installation, air duct sealing, caulking or insulation. Eligible households include those with annual incomes ranging from $21,660 for a one-person household to $74,480 for an eight-person household. Priority is given to the elderly, the disabled and families with small children. Program guidelines can be viewed at www.tn.gov. Monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were allocated to counties for weatherization based on income and population. Shelby County received $14.7 million of Tennessee’s $99 million allocation. This will allow the Shelby County Consumer Service Agency to weatherize 2,000 homes before September 2010 compared to its normal average of 300 homes per year.
The program is administered by 18 agencies across the state. For more information in west Tennessee, contact one of the following agencies:
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has created the Market Stabilization Program in an effort to stimulate Indiana’s housing markets. The program is aimed at borrowers interested in purchasing foreclosed homes. Qualified borrowers can receive up to $15,000 toward a down payment, closing costs and qualified repairs for properties that will be used as the home buyer’s primary residence.
The funds will be in the form of a zero-interest, nonamortizing, second mortgage loan and do not have to be paid back as long as the homeowner remains in the home for at least 10 years. Home buyers will also be required to complete eight hours of prepurchase education provided by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
The Louisville Metro Council overwhelmingly passed changes to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund ordinance on Sept. 22, 2010. The main change in the ordinance is that the fund will be run by a nonprofit rather than by the Louisville Metro Department of Housing. Originally established by the Metro Council in 2008, the fund has been stalled because a board has not been appointed. The changes to the ordinance require the appointments to be made.
The eventual goal of the fund is to raise $10 million annually. To make that goal, it will likely need a change in the state law that would allow a percentage of fees and fines paid in Jefferson County to funnel directly into the fund. Finding a dedicated public revenue stream, soliciting corporate and individual donations and grant writing will be the primary job of the future board and its executive director.
Social enterprises in Illinois will have a new tool to help them become self-sustaining when an amendment to the state’s Limited Liability Company Act takes effect Jan. 1, 2010. The amendment allows for the creation of a low-profit limited liability company known as an L3C. A hybrid of the LLC business organization model, the L3C invests capital in enterprises with a “double bottom line” or dual purpose of, first, having a socially beneficial mission and, second, making a small profit. L3Cs are allowed to pursue for-profit opportunities that help them achieve social goals.
The L3C is formally recognized by five states and two tribal nations and is being used throughout the United States and overseas. Members can include a variety of entities, such as corporations, nonprofits, government organizations and individuals.
To find out more, visit www.americansforcommunitydevelopment.org or see related articles on pages 5-8 of this issue.