ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — The Brown County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) housing program has invested $7 million to homeowners in the Northeast Wisconsin region over the last 9 years. Currently, in its 10th year, the program gives homebuyers assistance with a down payment and helps homeowners be able to afford to make essential repairs.
The program covers a 10-county region in Northeastern Wisconsin, excluding the cities of Appleton, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Neenah, Oshkosh, and Sheboygan, which have their own programs. The program provides 0% interest loans for home repairs, particularly issues that would result in the home not meeting health and safety federal standards.
Todd Mead, a senior planner with the Brown County Planning Commission, says there are a variety of different repairs the program has helped homeowners with.
"For example, issues with leaky roofs, sanitation, if you're in rural areas and have to improve your septic or you have some good issues, we help to remediate those improvements or help to take care of that issue," Mead said.
The loan is recorded as a mortgage on the property. Payment on the loan is deferred until the home is no longer the principal place of residence, which typically occurs when the home is sold, when the mortgage is refinanced, or the homeowner transfers ownership.
The program's income limits vary depending on the number of people living in each household. For example, under the 2022 income limits, a family of four would qualify for the program with an income of $72,150 or less.
“The ultimate goal of this program is to keep individuals in their homes," Mead said. "A lot of times if they have issues where they can’t afford to make a monthly payment because of their tight budget and we offer that financing for them with this regional program.”
For more information on the program, you can call the Brown County Planning Commission at 920-448-6480 or learn more at browncountywi.gov.