Portage County’s Home Improvement Program is designed to benefit owners of single-family dwellings within Portage County. Through this program, financial institutions provide low-interest rate loans to eligible borrowers for the purpose of home improvements.
These loans are made available through linked deposits, not unlike those used for the State of Ohio’s ECO-Link and other similar programs. The “link” in the program is the dollar amount. Portage County makes deposits at participating financial institutions of a portion of its total investment portfolio. In exchange, the financial institutions make a corresponding amount available to borrowers in the County at discounted interest rates.
It is important to note that, while the program is based on linked deposits, the only “link” in the program is in the dollar amounts invested by Portage County and made available by lenders. Borrowers participating in the program are required to qualify for a loan using participating financial institutions’ existing qualification processes, and those institutions bear all risks associated with the loans themselves.
The Portage County Home Improvement Program offers a discount of 3% below normal interest rates for the first five years of loans to County residents participating in the program.
In exchange for lower borrower rates, the Treasurer makes matched deposits at participating financial institutions in five-year certificates of deposit returning 0.15% interest. Any amounts over the $250,000 per institution FDIC ceiling must be properly collateralized, and accompanied by a depository agreement between the institution and the County.
One year from the launch of the program, participating institutions will return any non-distributed funds to the County.
The remaining balance of certificates of deposit made under the program will be returned to the County after five years.
A total of $1,000,000 is available for lending across all participating institutions.
Sign Up Period.
Prospective borrowers may sign up for the program by completing a loan application and program application at any participating financial institution. Applications will be reviewed for approval on a case-by-case basis by the Treasurer’s Office and the lender.
Residents may sign up for the program for one year from the date of the program’s official launch. That said, the amount on offer at each institution is capped. Once the cap for that institution is reached, the lending window for that institution is closed.
Under the Portage County Home Improvement Program, County residents may borrow monies for home repairs and improvements for any period of time offered by a lending institution. That said, the 3% interest rate discount will only apply to the first five years. After that point, rates will return to market.
Loans under the program range from a minimum of $1,500 to a maximum of $50,000. Loan amounts cannot exceed project costs.
In addition to any loan qualification limitations participating financial institutions may utilize, only single-family dwellings in Portage County with an Auditor’s appraised value of the U.S. median home value of $250,000 or less are eligible for the program. Participants must be current on all taxes owed to the County to participate.
Borrowers will be limited to one loan each.
In the interest of making improvements available to the greatest number of properties possible, no income limitations have been set.
In order to ensure that improvements are necessary and permanent, loans for above ground pools, hot tubs, satellite dishes, and other non-fixtures are prohibited under the program. Program funds may not be used for new home construction, as a “bridge,” or to refinance existing loans.
Funds distributed under the program must be expended on a qualified project within one year of distribution. Participants will be required to provide documentation to that effect to the Treasurer’s Office.
Participants who fail to spend loan proceeds on qualified projects and provide required documentation within one year of receiving loan funds will lose the discounted interest rate, and must repay any remaining balance at market interest rates.
Sign Up Today!
To sign up or for more information, you can download our program brochure, or contact a participating financial institution:
- Hometown Bank - 330-673-9827
- Middlefield Banking Company - 330-274-0881
- Portage Community Bank - 330-296-8090