AAFE CDF briefed reporters during a press conference in Flushing.

AAFE Community Development Fund (AAFE CDF) launched a public information campaign Nov. 14 to get the word out about HomeFix, a new city program offering affordable loans for home repairs. Since limited funds are available, homeowners must submit applications immediately for the low-interest, no-interest, and potentially forgivable loans. 

Asian Americans for Equality is one of five nonprofit organizations administering the loans. HomeFix was announced Nov. 4 by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. AAFE CDF has counselors available to provide multilingual assistance, including in Chinese. 

Eligible homeowners of one-to-four family homes in any of the five boroughs can receive up to $60,000 per home, with an additional $30,000 per additional rental unit on the property. A wide range of homeowners earning up to 165% of the Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible for funding, meaning an individual earning up to $123,255 or a family of three with an income below $158,656 can qualify. 

The program offers loan terms that may vary in order to ensure affordability, with flexibility in interest rates, repayment requirements, and other terms in order to achieve affordability for people who may not qualify for conventional bank loans. Senior and low-income households are able to qualify for more favorable terms, including forgivable loans.

HomeFix was created to help homeowners who are financially struggling — with few other options — and are often targeted by scammers. These individuals and families are under threat of displacement, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods, and often lose equity in their homes. 

Funding for the program was provided by Enterprise Community Partners, the New York City Council, the City of New York, and the Office of the New York Attorney General.

“For more than 20 years, AAFE Community Development Fund (CDF) has worked to make the dream of homeownership a reality for immigrant, low- and middle-income New Yorkers,” said Thomas Yu and Jennifer Sun, co-executive directors of Asian Americans for Equality. “This is why AAFE is so pleased to be collaborating with the City of New York, Enterprise Community Partners and our other nonprofit partners in support of the HomeFix program. In this challenging market for first-time homebuyers, it is more important than ever that existing homeowners have the ability to make critical repairs and improvements, and to keep building equity in their homes.” 

As part of HomeFix, AAFE Community Development Fund will work with homeowners to identify the type of home repairs needed, help navigate the application process, provide lists of qualified contractors and provide counseling services to ensure homeowners remain in good standing. Eligible home repair projects must improve building systems, correct housing deficiencies or address potential hazardous conditions. Projects may include (but are not limited to): roof repair/replacement, heating upgrades, hot water heater replacement, electrical improvements, plumbing upgrades, sidewalk paving and energy efficiency upgrades. HomeFix loans may also be used to improve accessibility and help senior residents age in place.

AAFE CDF is hosting workshops to provide the community with more information about the HomeFix program. The first session takes place Sunday, Nov. 24, noon-3 p.m.at AAFE’s One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Avenue, 2nd Floor (workshop will be conducted in Mandarin).  A second workshop will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, noon- 3 p.m. at AAFE’s Chinatown Office, 2 Allen St., 7th Floor (workshop will be conducted in Cantonese). 

Homeowners interested in reserving a spot for the workshops or in beginning the application process right away should call AAFE Community Development Fund at 212-964-2288 or 718-961-0888. 

AAFE Community Development Fund is a U.S. Treasury designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to promoting, protecting and advancing homeownership for minority, immigrant, low- and moderate- income, and underserved households and communities in New York City. Since 1999, AAFE CDF has helped New Yorkers from all five boroughs by providing homeowner counseling, homebuyer education and more than $400 million in home loans. 

The lead administrative organization of HomeFix is the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. Administrative partners include AAFE CDF, as well as Restored Homes Housing Development Fund Corporation, Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHSNYC) and the Parodneck Foundation.