Yakima County program allows women to add life to their home

Andrea Reyes, the Yakima County Public Works HOME Consortium administrator (L), reviews a checklist with Mary and Roberta Williams of Grandview, following the completion of repairs and updates to their Grandview home.

Photo by Julia Hart
Andrea Reyes, the Yakima County Public Works HOME Consortium administrator (L), reviews a checklist with Mary and Roberta Williams of Grandview, following the completion of repairs and updates to their Grandview home.



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Before - The cabinets in the Williams’ kitchen were missing drawers and in serious need of repair.

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After – Newly refaced and a fresh coat of paint give the kitchen a fresh, new look. A new kitchen range and refrigerator were also a part of the renovation on the Grandview women’s home.

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After - The Williams’ Grandview home not only received a new paint job thanks to a HOME Consortium loan, contractors straightened the garage door, replaced windows and installed a new roof.

GRANDVIEW – Safe, warm and thankful…that’s how Mary Williams and her daughter, Barbara Williams, feel about their newly renovated three-bedroom home.

The two Grandview women say they would not have been able to afford even basic needed repairs on their home, without the help of a county program that offers housing rehabilitation loans to homeowners on tight budgets.

“We’re both on limited incomes,” said Mary Williams, who relies on her Social Security check. “A new roof would have costs thousands of dollars we don’t have,” she said.

Her daughter, who receives a disability check, said painting the exterior of their Grandview home would also have been too costly for them.

But, thanks to the Yakima County HOME Consortium loan program, the mother and daughter not only have a new roof on their home, it has new insulation, new siding, along with a new paint job.

The women saw a newspaper article about the low interest loan program and decided to seek more information about the Yakima County HOME Consortium.

According to Andrea Reyes, the county’s HOME program administrator, consortium loans are awarded for the purpose of preserving owner-occupied housing, providing assistance to households to bring homes up to local health and safety codes, as well as providing energy-efficient improvements.

The work on the Williams’ home was recently completed. It’s a project that allowed them to see their home of 25 years receive much needed repairs, Reyes said.

The HOME Consortium program offers low-monthly-payment home loans to qualified homeowners who want to rehabilitate their homes.

Homeowners must repay the loans for the first seven years. If requirements have been met, the remainder of the loan will be forgiven after seven years, said Reyes.

Typically, homeowners will pay in the range of $45 to $55 per month for seven years. After that time, the remainder of the loan – which can be up to $75,000 - is forgiven.

To receive the loan forgiveness, home owners must reside in the house for the entire seven years and be up to date on payments and insurance.

Homeowners also must meet specific requirements to receive the loans, Reyes said.

“We knew we needed a new roof, but we also knew we might not be able to afford one,” said Mary Williams.

“We also wanted to paint the outside of our house, but again, we knew we couldn’t afford to do that either,” said her daughter.

Reyes said the women’s $75,000 loan included the roof, and other exterior improvements, along with installation of new energy efficient windows, repairs to electrical outlets and even a new heating system.

In addition, the project contactor was even able to reface their kitchen cabinets, and repair a number of household electrical outlets. The women also for the first time have a new dishwasher, as well as new kitchen appliances and a new washer and dryer. New carpets were also added to the home’s three bedrooms as a part of the project.

The mother and daughter duo are very thankful for the loan and all of the repairs.

“We’re so happy about all of the repairs and to know our home will be safe and comfortable for years to come,” said Mrs. Williams.



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