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Housing Rehabilitation Program
Southwestern Community Services (SCS) has found that there are many home owners in Cheshire and Sullivan counties that sometimes cannot afford to make needed repairs to their homes. Often, they are elderly people who get by on Social Security benefits and live in the houses they have owned most of their lives. Others are single parents, or couples with young children who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis, or families who have fallen on hard times due to a job loss or illness.

SCS administers several home rehab programs which help low to moderate income families make needed repairs to their homes. These programs are designed to help people stay in their homes and keep them in good repair. This not only helps the home owners, it also helps the community.

Home Preservation Grant
The Home Preservation Grant (HPG) works in conjunction with Housing Rehab and is able to produce $2,500 worth of maintenance per qualified household at no cost to the owner. The program focuses on measures that increase the health and safety of a home. A few examples of health and safety upgrades that HPG applicants would be eligible for: new heating systems, electric work, plumbing work, replacement windows, and wet basement issues. Additional funding may be awarded to eligible clients who have rehabilitation needs that total more than $2,000.

Who qualifies for HPG? You may qualify if you reside in a town with a population less than 10,000; live in Cheshire or Sullivan County with all property taxes paid and up to date; and meet the income guidelines listed below. Mobile home owners may qualify if the home is located on their own land or in a housing cooperative. Also, the mobile home must be on its own foundation.
Cheshire County
2014-2015 Housing Rehab Income Guidelines
Persons in Household % of Median Income
50% 80%
1 $24,750 $39,600
2 $28,300 $45,250
3 $31,850 $50,900
4 $35,350 $56,550
5 $38,200 $61,050
6 $41,050 $65,600
7 $43,850 $70,100
8 $46,700 $74,650
Sullivan County
2014-2015 Housing Rehab Income Guidelines
Persons in Household % of Median Income
50% 80%
1 $24,650 $39,450
2 $28,150 $45,000
3 $31,650 $50,650
4 $35,150 $56,250
5 $38,000 $60,750
6 $40,800 $65,250
7 $43,600 $69,750
8 $46,400 $74,250
If you are older than 62, additional assistance may be available.
Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Program
Homes built prior to 1978 are at a very high risk for having lead based paint in and around the home. Lead based paint is toxic and can cause multiple issues with both children and adults, especially young children and women who are pregnant or nursing (see table below). If you fear that your home or rental property may have this toxic material embedded in the walls, ceilings, or surrounding soil, help through SCS may be available to remedy this hazard.
Long Term Effects
Children Adults
  Hyperactivity   Fertility problems
  Learning disabilities   High blood pressure
  Impaired hearing   Digestive issues
  Brain damage   Muscle and joint pain
  Decreased muscle and bone
  Increased chance of illness
  while pregnant
  Speech, language, and
  behavior problems
  Nerve disorders
  Possibly even death  
The Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Program (LPHRP) provides up to 90% of the cost of lead paint remediation (up to $12,500 per unit). All work is completed by lead certified contractors that know exactly how to remove and dispose of this toxic material, minimizing complications or risk of further exposure. 

Who qualifies for LPHRP? Income eligible homeowners or tenants may qualify (a landlord does not need to be income eligible if more than half of the tenants are). Children aged six or under must either live in or visit the home.
Each year these programs vary in the amount of funding available and the dates they begin and end. If funding is not available at the time, you will be placed on a waiting list until the next program starts. There is also an income eligibility requirement, which changes each year. SCS will make a public announcement in local area newspapers whenever funding is available.

For more information regarding documents needed and application instructions, please review the HPG information letter.

The USDA Rural Development website provides more information regarding Rural Housing Programs in Vermont and New Hampshire.
  Cheshire County   United Way
Toll Free: 800.529.0005   
TTY-NH Relay: 800.735.2964
  Sullivan County  
  63 Community Way
PO Box 603     
Keene, NH 03431
Phone: 603.352.7512
Fax: 603.352.3618
    96-102 Main Street
PO Box 1338
Claremont, NH 03743
Phone: 603.542.9528
Fax: 603.542.3140

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