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Housing Solutions loans can help flood victims

Nonprofit offers assistance with fire mitigation and flood repairs
A low-interest loan through Housing Solutions paid for repairs at Dixie Sandoval’s home in Arboles after it was flooded in 2013. The configuration of the culverts behind her home changed and lead to the flooding.

When mud flooded Dixie Sandoval’s home in 2013, the damage was so extensive she thought she would have to find a new home.

The flood was caused from the culverts behind her home in the Arboles area. Mud flowed into her house multiple times. It packed the crawl space, damaging the plumbing and the flooring, she said. A flood also carried a propane tank into her back wall and left a hole.

“The house was pretty much ready to be condemned,” she said.

Sandoval didn’t have insurance to cover the damage, and it cast into doubt whether she could continue living in the home with her elderly mother, Josephine Fletcher.

She credits a low-interest loan through Housing Solutions for the Southwest for helping save the house.

“There’s no words to describe how much they helped us,” Sandoval said.

The loan paid for contractors to remove about 10 dump-truck loads of dirt from under the house, among other repairs, she said.

Before the flooding, Sandoval had promised her mother that she would be able to stay in the house until she died.

After the home was damaged, the promise was in doubt. But now, Fletcher is spending her final days at home, Sandoval said.

The low-interest loans through Housing Solutions are available to those who need to repair flood damage. It will also pay to repair leaking roofs, septic system problems and crumbling foundations.


“The whole point of the program is to keep people in their home,” said Christina Cordalis, housing rehab director for the nonprofit.

Housing Solutions can also grant loans to those who need to do fire mitigation around their homes, said Elizabeth Salkind, executive director of the nonprofit. Sometimes, major mitigation is required by home insurance companies.

The Housing Solutions program is similar to a home-equity loan, but it is meant to serve those who may not qualify for a traditional loan. It can serve those who make 80 percent of area median income. For example, a family of four earning $58,950 could qualify.

The program provides loans up to $25,000 at 1 to 2 percent, and they have long payback periods, she said.

As the loans are repaid, the money goes back into a state revolving loan fund to pay for other repairs, Salkind said.

For more information about the loans, call Housing Solutions at 259-2037.


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