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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this program for? 

The program is for individuals or families that have recently closed on a home within the UNPA Target Area.

To qualify you must:

  • Have purchased and plan to reside in a property within the UNPA Target Area.

  • Have a closing statement or other documentation that can proved you closed on the house

  • The closing date must be no more than 45 days prior to the date you file your application

  • Make the improvements to the home in the upcoming 12 months

  • Not currently have an existing UNPA grant

What can the grant funds be used for? 

Funds can be used for both interior and exterior improvements and can be used to pay for materials, supplies and contractor costs. The purchase of major appliances is also an approved expense. UNPA recommends buying the most energy efficient appliances available as additional funding may be available from NYSERDA.

How does the grant program work? 

You may request a grant in the amount of $2,500-$5,100, this amount will include up to $4,600 in renovations and $500 for legal fees. To apply for the Homebuyers Home Improvement Program, you must fill in the application form and supporting documentation a maximum of 45 days after closing on your home. The supporting documentation required is:

  • W-9 Form for applicant and co-applicant

  • Confirmation of Closing or Copy of  Settlement Statement

  • HUD 1 (if received)

  • Before photos of repairs to be made

  • Contractor estimates for the Scope of Work

  • If available: Proof that property was a rental during the 12 months preceding the purchase (e.g. rental registry from the City of Syracuse)

Applications are received on a rolling basis and will be valid for up to 12 months. Grants will be approved on a quarterly basis, awards are based upon available funds. Applications are selected based on the priorities determined by UNPA’s Score Card.

Once you have been approved and completed the renovations, UNPA will reimburse you up to $4,600. Additionally, the grant award will cover $500 for attorney and title search fees.

The UNPA “grant” is legally recorded as a “10-year term zero interest loan” or “lien” or “second mortgage” that has a “due-on-sale” or “recapture agreement”. Every year, you will be required to respond to the “Verification of Occupancy Letter” to confirm you are residing in the property.You will need to pay UNPA back if you sell, rent or vacate the property before the required 10-year owner occupancy term, repayment is based on a sliding repayment scale:

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