LUMBERTON — Financial aid in the form of forgivable loans now is available to Robeson County residents still repairing or rebuilding homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.
The $14 million in state funds is being made available by North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, said Emily Jones, a county government spokesperson. The financial assistance comes in form of an unsecured, zero percent interest, forgivable loan covering the hard and soft costs of home rehabilitation to be forgiven at the rate of $5,000 per year. The program can cover damages up to $40,000, and so long as the survivor lives in the home, the borrower will not need to make any payments on the loan.
No application deadline has been set, Jones said.
The loans will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The borrower can apply to partner agencies chosen by the Housing Finance Agency. The partner agencies in Robeson County are Lumber River Council of Governments, 30 C.J. Walker Road in Pembroke, 910-618-5533; Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, 6984 N.C. 71 West in Pembroke, 910- 521-7861; and city of Lumberton, 500 N Cedar St. in Lumberton, 910-671-3844.
Hurricane Matthew devastated many communities across North Carolina and especially in Robeson County, when it struck on Oct. 8. More than 35,000 homes in North Carolina had flood damage, many of them in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency that finances affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians whose needs are not met by the market, according to the agency’s website. Since its creation in 1973 by the General Assembly, the agency has financed more than 255,000 affordable homes and apartments, totaling $19.2 billion.
The agency provides financing through the sale of tax-exempt bonds and management of federal tax credit programs, the federal HOME Program, the state Housing Trust Fund, and other programs.