Raymondville mulls home improvement loans - Brownsville Herald: Valley

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Raymondville mulls home improvement loans

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Posted: Monday, April 8, 2019 9:28 pm

RAYMONDVILLE — Across town, many of the older homes can use a fresh coat of paint, new trim or roof repairs.

But in this farming community where more than one-third of residents live in poverty, many homeowners can’t afford to fix up their houses.

Soon, the city might be offering low-interest loans to help residents spruce up their properties.

Later today, city commissioners are expected to meet with Communities Unlimited, an Arkansas-based organization, to consider entering into an agreement to offer home improvement loans.

“They are small loans to fix your house,” Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said Monday.

The program is aimed at helping homeowners with poor credit ratings qualify for loans.

In Raymondville, some residents struggle with poor credit ratings, Gonzales said.

“Some people can’t afford to get a loan because their credit’s not very good,” he said.

Small loans

The program offers loans from $2,500 to $3,500 at 12 percent interest, Deborah Temple, who helps oversee the loan program for Communities Unlimited, which described itself as an economic development organization based in Fayetteville, Ark.

“It’s just a small unsecured loan to help people make improvements to their homes,” Temple said.

The program offers small loans aimed to fund common home repair projects.

“If someone wants to get their roof fixed, $3,500 will pretty much do it,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said residents who qualify for loans can reapply to help fund additional home repair projects.

“As soon as you pay, you can apply for another loan,” he said. “In this case they can start working on their homes little by little.”

Reviving neighborhoods

City Commissioner Edward Gonzales said the program can help revitalize the city’s neighborhoods.

“A lot are older homes more in need of programs like this,” he said. “We are in need of home improvement and home rehabilitation.”

Gonzales said the program can help spruce up neighborhoods to help attract more businesses to town.

“Anytime we can help our folks rehab or make improvements to their home it increases their pride in what they’ve invested in. when that happens you see a much more orderly neighborhood,” he said. “That curb appeal is good. It’s good for the moral of the neighborhood and helps investment.”

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