Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners
PATCH aims to fill a gap in resources following the Derecho storm. The program will provide support, referrals, and financial assistance to low-to-moderate income Linn County homeowners impacted by the storm.
Housing Fund for Linn County and ECICOG will serve as the application manager for homeowners and the collaborative organizations. The program will be available as long as a source of funding is available.
Types of Assistance
Construction management support
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should apply to the PATCH Program?
Homeowners in Linn County whose primary residence was damaged by the 8/10/20 Derecho storm may qualify to participate if they meet ALL of the following criteria:
What types of properties are eligible?
The following property types may be eligible for participation in PATCH:
What if I am a renter in a home that needs repair? Can I get assistance through PATCH?
No. Only homeowners in owner-occupied dwellings are eligible to participate in the PATCH Program. If you are a renter and your unit is not safe to occupy, contact Waypoint at (319) 366-7999 for to explore alternative housing options that may be available to you.
I own a rental property that needs repairs due to the Derecho. Can I qualify for assistance through PATCH?
No. Only owner-occupied units are eligible for participation in PATCH. If you are a landlord, you may wish to contact the Small Business Administration (SBA) to explore disaster recovery loan options.
I own a mobile home. Am I eligible to receive assistance through PATCH?
Mobile homes may be eligible for the PATCH program only if they are affixed to a permanent foundation, located on land which the owner-occupant owns, and taxed by the community as real property.
What if I did not own my home on August 10, 2020 but purchased it after the disaster?
You must have been the owner of record as of August 10, 2020 to qualify for the PATCH Program.
What if the home in need of repair is a second home or a vacation home? Can I qualify for assistance?
No. Second homes, vacation homes, and the like are not eligible for the program. Only the primary residence of the homeowner is eligible to receive assistance.
I am buying my home on contract. Can I get assistance through PATCH?
Contract buyers may be eligible to participate if the contract is in writing and filed with the Linn County Recorder’s office.
What if I make more than the allowable income limit for the PATCH Program?
You must make less than the listed income for your household to qualify for PATCH. If additional funds become available, the PATCH program may open up funding to households earning more than 80% of the Area Median Income. However additional funding is not guaranteed.
Do I have to have a credit check to receive forgivable loan assistance?
No. There is no credit check performed during the qualification process.
Do I have to have property insurance to participate?
You can apply to participate in the PATCH Program if you do not have insurance. However, you must be able to obtain insurance by project completion. Insurance helps to protect you against losses in the event of another disaster event or other emergency, such as a fire. If you had property insurance on August 10, 2020, you must file a claim in order to participate in the PATCH Program.
Do I need to have a FEMA Number to apply for PATCH Assistance?
The goal of the PATCH Program is to stretch all federal, state, local, and private dollars as far as possible. To that end, applicants are asked to apply for FEMA assistance.
I missed the deadline to apply for FEMA Assistance. Now what?
You may have an opportunity to appeal the deadline and still apply. Contact HACAP at (319) 739-0056 for more information and assistance with FEMA claims.
I got an insurance settlement and assistance from FEMA or the SBA. Can I still get help from the PATCH Program?
If the money you received from other sources is less than the total cost to complete all eligible work on your home, you may still qualify for PATCH Program funding for the unmet need. The PATCH Program is required to verify other benefits you may have received.
What type of work is eligible to be funded through PATCH?
The PATCH program is intended to assist with:
I took out an SBA Loan for repairs, but it charges interest. Can PATCH pay off some or all of my SBA loan?
The PATCH Program may be able to pay back all or part of an interest-bearing SBA loan to provide you with more favorable loan terms. PATCH Program staff will work with the SBA to determine your eligibility.
I got an insurance settlement to cover my repairs, but I don’t have the money to pay my deductible. Can PATCH help me?
The PATCH program can reimburse your deductible if you do not have the funds and it is preventing you from making repairs to your home.
I have already made the repairs to my home, but I maxed out my credit to do it and now I am struggling to make payments on the debt. Can PATCH help?
Subject to review of financial documents, and evidence of financial hardship, PATCH may reimburse costs incurred by the homeowner before PATCH Program funds became available.
What if my income changes after I apply to the program?
Homeowners must meet the income qualification requirement at the time of application. Subsequent changes to household income do not need to be reported.
I was told I am not eligible for the PATCH Program, but I disagree with the reason for my denial. Can I appeal?
Homeowners may submit an appeal in writing within 14 days, laying out the reasons their appeal should be considered. Appeals received in writing will be reviewed by the PATCH Program partners and a final eligibility decision will be made. The homeowner will be notified of the outcome of their appeal and the decision of the review team will be final.
What happens once I submit my application to the PATCH Program?
Your application will be reviewed for completeness. If not complete, PATCH Program Staff will contact you about the missing information. Once all information is provided, your application will be accepted for processing and PATCH Program staff will begin reviewing it for eligibility. Through the processing phase, staff may need to contact you with questions about the information you provided.
The PATCH Program also needs to verify other disaster benefits you may have received through insurance, FEMA, and the SBA. This must be verified with each agency before your application can be approved.
What can I do while waiting for my PATCH Program application to be reviewed?
Please check your messages and email frequently to ensure that you do not miss any communications from the PATCH Program. Additional information may be needed from you in order to process your application.
You do not have to stop work that is in progress, but be sure to save receipts and other proof of payment. You may continue to collect contractor bid estimates if you are comfortable doing so, or you may wait until the PATCH program is able to assist with construction management services.
What if I realize I made a mistake in my application after I submit it?
Why does the PATCH Program have to verify other disaster benefits I have received?
PATCH is required by the federal Stafford Act (which governs disaster response) to ensure that Program funds do not duplicate other assistance, particularly federal, that you may have received. PATCH Program funds cannot be used to reimburse costs that have been paid for by other agencies such as FEMA and the SBA. This requires us to share data with FEMA and the SBA to determine your eligibility.
Why do I have to have an inspection?
PATCH Program staff will conduct an initial inspection to determine or verify the scope of the work that needs to be done. PATCH Program staff will also inspect the completed work to ensure that it meets applicable local codes prior to issuing payments.
What kinds of changes in my situation do I need to report to the PATCH Program?
Please notify the PATCH program immediately if you sell your home, or if for any reason you are no longer the homeowner. Please also communicate any changes in condition of the property or work progress that would potentially impact your project.
I have no contractors identified to do the work on my house. Can PATCH help me?
Yes. One of the PATCH services is help finding contractors and managing your construction project.
I have contractors lined up, but don’t have enough money to start the project. Can I access PATCH funding?
Yes. If you qualify to participate in PATCH, you are not required to use our construction management services. You can identify your own contractors to ensure your project is completed to your satisfaction.
Who selects the contractors who will work on my property?
Each situation is unique and will depend on level of assistance requested from the PATCH program. Contractors will be selected in coordination with a homeowner if the homeowner requests construction management assistance. Homeowners that are managing their own repairs will select their contractors and provide the bids to the PATCH Program staff.
Do I have to work with a contractor, or can I do the work myself?
Homeowners can complete their own repairs only if they demonstrate they have the skill (for instance, their line of work) to complete the project and have completed similar projects. Homeowners must also be able to obtain the appropriate permits and show they have the time and capacity to complete the repairs in a timely manner. If this option is approved by the PATCH program, the PATCH program will generally pay suppliers directly for required project materials. The PATCH program will not pay for the homeowner’s own labor.
How will contractors be paid through the PATCH Program?
Generally, the PATCH Program will make payments directly to contractors for completed work. Progress payments can be made subject to an inspection and satisfactory completion of the work to be invoiced. Completed lien waivers and invoices are required and any permitting requirements must be satisfied. Contractors must have a taxpayer ID number. If a homeowner has already incurred costs, these may be reimbursed subject to proof of payment and permitting requirements being met.
Do I have to pay PATCH Funds back?
You will be required to repay any funds for which you receive reimbursement from insurance or FEMA. PATCH funding not reimbursed by another agency will be a forgivable loan. The loan will be forgiven by 20% annually for five years as long as you own and occupy your home. All loans will be recorded against the assisted property
and released after the five-year term.
What is the interest rate charged by the PATCH Program?
The PATCH program funds are provided at zero % interest.
Are PATCH Program funds taxable?
Please consult a qualified tax advisor to determine whether PATCH Program funds need to be reported as taxable income to the IRS.
What if I don’t want a loan filed against my property?
All PATCH Program funds must be secured against the property. A release will be filed when repayable funds are repaid to the program, and when forgivable loans have satisfied the criteria for forgiveness.
What if I sell my house before the 5-year retention period for the forgivable loan ends?
Any outstanding forgivable loan balance must be repaid in the event you sell your home before the 5-year period has ended. The forgiveness schedule is 20% of the loan balance forgiven each year for five years. Extenuating circumstances involving financial hardship may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
What if I die before the forgivable part of my loan is forgiven?
If a participant passes away before the forgivable loan is fully forgiven, any of the following scenarios are acceptable:
What if I need to refinance my home after receiving PATCH Program funds?
The PATCH Program will subordinate its loans for homeowner refinancing to secure a lower interest rate or to improve loan terms, such as reducing payments. Generally, the PATCH program will not subordinate to cash out refinancing. Unique hardship circumstances with clear documentation may be considered on a case by case basis.
What agencies are involved in the delivery of the PATCH Program?
The PATCH Program is a partnership of many local agencies, including Linn County Community Services, Waypoint Services, The Housing Fund for Linn County, East Central Iowa Council of Governments, Matthew 25, Neighborhood Finance Corporation, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and United Way of East Central Iowa.
What is the source of the PATCH Program funding?
PATCH Program funds are private philanthropic funds made available through the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund and the United Way of East Central Iowa.