New HALO Loans Help Seniors, the Disabled With Crucial Home Renovations

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Several organizations are teaming up to provide affordable Home Adaptation Loan Options (HALO) for disabled and elderly homeowners in Florida. The nonprofit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), the Florida Housing Coalition (FHC), and the National Disability CDFI Coalition have joined forces to help disabled homeowners and senior citizens complete much-needed home renovations. The partnership expands access to low-cost financing for home adaptations, aging in place, and assistive technologies.

SELF's Chief Financial Officer, Duanne Andrade, said, "SELF is excited about the new HALO program and the recent $400,000 award from the US CDFI Fund." She said, "Loans will be available for home improvement projects, ranging from roof and A/C replacement to wheelchair ramps, walk-in showers, home automation, and other assistive services." Most importantly, she noted, "the loans are based on the person's ability to safely repay the loan, rather than credit scores," Through this collaboration, SELF will provide financing with 5-7% interest rates, with terms up to 10 years.

One of the chief architects of the new HALO program is Eric Reed, Deputy Director of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology. Eric said, "FAAST is dedicated to helping those with disabilities live their life to the fullest. Now, through this new partnership, we are able to help even more people improve comfort, safety, and livability in their own homes."

SELF is also a member of the National Disability CDFI Coalition, whose mission is to help Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) connect with disability communities. Gregory Pickett, Executive Director of the Coalition, said, "Florida's need is great, with over five million people over the age of 65 and an estimated 1.8 million people with disabilities." He said, "We are so glad to have SELF as a member of our coalition so we can work together to promote independence for more Floridians with disabilities."

"With record-breaking heat and hurricanes this year, many seniors and disabled homeowners are in need of significant home renovations to keep their homes safe," said Jaimie Ross, the President and CEO of The Florida Housing Coalition (FHC) – which is Florida's statewide nonprofit provider of affordable housing training and technical assistance, dedicated to ensuring that all Floridians have access to a quality affordable home. "We are excited about this partnership to help improve the health and overall quality of life for seniors and disabled homeowners in Florida."

St. Petersburg homeowner, Slyvia Thompson recently secured an affordable loan from SELF for a new high-efficiency air conditioner. Her child with cerebral palsy and epilepsy is prone to seizures during hot summer months. Having a functional air conditioner not only lowered her electric bills, but it greatly improved living conditions. Sylvia described the SELF program as a "blessing."

Please reference WFLA news report for more information about Sylvia Thompson's story.

For more information about SELF, call (772) 468-1818 or visit http://www.solarenergyloanfund.org or http://www.Facebook.com/SolarEnergyLoanFund.

For more information about FAAST, call (850) 487-3278 or visit https://www.faast.org/.

For more information about FHC, call (850) 878-4219 or visit http://www.flhousing.org/.

For more information about the National Disability CDFI Coalition, call (571) 5288-2737 or visit [http://www.thedof.org/about-our-coalition/.

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The Author

Reporting and New Project Officer

Jacqueline is currently earning her degree in Computer Science with a focus on Software Engineering. She gained experience with SELF by volunteering time to assist with DOE reporting, ARRA & County as well as internal reporting. She also assisted in the development of the new Management Information System (MIS). Due to her high performance, she was hired on a part time basis as the IT and Reporting Associate and is now performing several duties including; troubleshooting hardware/software issues, data management assistance, graphic design and web maintenance. She is also responsible for SELF’s internal “ RESULTS DASHBOARD” a well as completing reports to various government and funding organizations. Hudson works in close liaison with all staff members to collect information and reports to directly to the CFO as well as to the Executive Director when needed, on all aspects regarding data and systems.