Rental Housing Improvement Program

RHIP is a low-interest loan program to help landlords make basic repairs or improvements, which we developed for the Town of Brattleboro.

What properties are eligible?

Any rental housing in the town of Brattleboro is eligible if it meets these conditions:

  • At least 51% of the tenants have a total household income not higher than the “low-income” limit set annually by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Where there are two or four tenants the requirement is 50%.)
  • All tenants have written rental agreements that conform to Vermont law.
  • The property complies with Brattleboro zoning requirements and either complies with building, fire and health codes or will use the loan to come into compliance.
  • The owner has at least 20% equity in the property to be improved.
  • The owner is current with all taxes on Brattleboro property s/he owns or has an interest in.

What work is eligible?

A variety of repairs or improvements are eligible, including:

  • Bringing the property into compliance with applicable codes
  • Creation or rehabilitation of rental units in a single- or multi-family building
  • Structural repairs
  • Electrical, plumbing or heating improvements
  • Weatherization
  • Accessibility modifications
  • Lead paint or asbestos abatement

Loans may not be made for routine maintenance.

Loan Terms

  • Loans may be for any amount from $3,000 to $25,000.
  • Loans may be for a period of up to 10 years.
  • Interest will be 50% of the Prime interest rate with a minimum of 3%.
  • Loans will be secured by promissory notes and mortgage deeds, as applicable.

Affordability Requirement

Borrowers will be required to keep rent and utility costs at a level affordable to low- or moderate-income tenants for 5 years or the duration of the loan, whichever is longer.

How do I apply?

The application process includes the following steps:

  1. A preliminary application form is completed.
  2. The Loan Coordinator reviews the project’s eligibility.
  3. A full application and processing fee are submitted. Information is required about the building’s and owner’s finances. (Personal financial information is reviewed only by a two-person credit committee and does not become public record.)
  4. A site visit is conducted to review the proposed work and budget.
  5. The Loan Review Committee reviews the application and makes a recommendation.
  6. The Selectboard makes the final decision on the loan.

For more information

… or a preliminary application form, please call the Town of Brattleboro’s Grants Manager at 251-8122.