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KETTERING, Ohio – The City of Kettering has launched a pilot program to provide qualified homeowners with low cost home improvement loans, and selected Day Air CU as its partner in the community service program. The new Home Enhancement Loan Program (HELP) will provide qualified homeowners with a home improvement loan that’s 2.5% below the CU’s standard home improvement loan rate. The City of Kettering will buy down 2% of each loan, and Day Air CU will then discount the loans an additional half-percent. In addition, the credit union is waiving all application, appraisal and title exam fees. All loans will be 10-year, fixed-rate loans and will not have any prepayment penalties. Approved loans will be between $15,000-$50,000. To qualify, applicants’ total household income cannot exceed $142,250. Day Air CU members who receive HELP loans have up to 12 months to complete the work on their home. To apply for a HELP loan, applicants must be members of Day Air CU. The $103.5 million CU’s field-of-membership includes anyone who lives, works or worships in southwest Montgomery County and the city of Dayton proper, as well as 300 SEGs. The CU currently has more than 22,000 members. Once the credit union receives a member’s application, the applicant subsequently has to provide Day Air with a cost estimate on the project; proof of household income; a copy of their deed and yearend mortgage; and proof of homeowner’s insurance. Day Air Director of Marketing Jill Lingo said the average turnaround time on a HELP application should be about three weeks, since the cost estimate information will have to be provided by contractors. Once an application is approved, she estimates the money will be disbursed in about 24 hours. Day Air plans to keep the home equity loans in its portfolio. Projects that expand the living space in a member’s home such as new or remodeled kitchens or baths, and the remodeling of attics or garages into living space, qualify for HELP loans. Example of projects that don’t qualify under HELP are: new roofs, furnaces, electric or plumbing; new driveways and decks/porches; recreation facilities such as swimming pools, tennis or basketball courts; detached garages; lawn maintenance or new landscaping; and repair or replacement of sidewalks, curbs, or drive approaches. With a population of about 60,000, Kettering is the second largest city in Montgomery County (Dayton is the largest city). The city receives federal grant money through the Community Development Block Grant Program to help the housing needs of its low-income residents. But the city has a lot of older homes and it’s witnessed an exodus of its moderate and middle income families who are buying new homes in nearby suburbs and moving away from Kettering. “We wanted to come up with a new program to help more middle and moderate income families who could be attracted to new homes in the suburbs. These are good families, and we want them to stay in Kettering,” said Pat Higgins, Community Development Block Grant Program Manager for the city After coming up with a plan for HELP, the City of Kettering sent out requests to all financials in the city, including credit unions and banks, for proposals for implementing HELP. Higgins said the city gave the financials certain guidelines. Day Air’s proposal was the most satisfactory, said Higgins. HELP was launched October 15, and at press time, Day Air was handling 12 active applications with total loans worth $363,649. Lingo said Day Air’s partnership with the City of Kettering for HELP is “a great partnership all around. It’s a way for us to help our community improve our members’ financial worth and help our members increase the value of their homes.” The partnership is also helping get the word out around the city about Day Air. The credit union has been featured on the front page of the city’s newsletter that is circulated to over 26,000 households. In addition, Day Air has been highlighted in conjunction with the city in the Dayton Daily News, and it’s participated on a half-hour cable TV show, “Let’s Talk Kettering.” -

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