The Hutchinson Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HHRA) is always looking for programs to help meet our community needs!
The recent economic downturn and the foreclosure crisis have caused a shift in our community’s housing needs from home ownership to rental. Our current rental vacancy rate is below 2%. Maxfield Research Inc. says that the industry standard for a stabilized rental market is 5%.
This high demand for rental housing has led to the occupancy of some substandard rental units in our community. As a way to monitor the conditions of the rental units the City Council implemented the Rental Registration Program. Each unit has to be inspected by a City Inspector for maintenance standards that are adopted by the City.
Looking at these factors the HHRA decided to apply to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for funds for a rental rehab program. DEED awarded the City of Hutchinson $364,359 for the City of Hutchinson Downtown Rental Rehab Program in June 2015.
Rental property owners may be eligible for a deferred loan (that will turn into a grant if certain requirements are met) up to 70% of the rehab costs with a maximum City loan of:
- $10,000/Unit for apartments above downtown business
- $15,000/Unit for duplex-2 units
- $12,500 for 3+ unit buildings
- $24,999/Single family rental house
The downtown area was targeted because it has a variety of older rental units ranging from single family detached homes to units above businesses and multi-unit complexes. This rental rehab program will enhance the rental choices for all sizes of households in the area and support the community’s efforts to make downtown more accessible and vibrant gathering place.
The landlords benefit from this program by having a source of funds to address deferred maintenance items and/or any City cited rental registration violations. Tenants will be happy to live in a place that is comfortable and safe for their families. Another benefit is that utility bills should be lower with energy efficiency improvements that can be done with this program funding.
The Hutchinson HRA has been accepting applications for the City of Hutchinson Downtown Rental Rehab Program since August 2015.
The first rental rehab application has been reviewed and accepted. The property was inspected for health, safety, deferred maintenance and energy improvements. Because the building was built before 1978, a lead-based paint assessment was also completed. After all the recommendations from the inspections were compiled into a work write-up, it was sent out to bid. Construction will be starting shortly.
If you have a rental property in the downtown area, go to the HRA’s Rental Rehab web page or give Judy a call at (320) 234-4251 if you have any question or to see if you are eligible for the City of Hutchinson Downtown Rental Rehab Program.