WANTED: Lambton homeowners seeking renovation money

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Melisa Johnson wants to help people stay in their homes.

But the program administrator of Lambton Renovates is confused why people don’t seem to want her help.

The Lambton Renovates program has been around in some form for a number of years.  It gives homeowners up to $15,000 in the form of a forgivable loan for renovations for things such as roofs, windows and electrical problems.

“It’s for things which will help people stay in their home, such as a leaky roof that needs to be fixed or windows and doors; not so much upgrade a kitchen – it’s not designed for cosmetic improvements,” she says.

The loan is forgiven if you stay in the home for 10 years. If you sell the house, you pay back the money based on how long you’ve been there since the renovation.

There is also a $5,000 grant available to homeowners who need to make their homes more accessible with items such as a ramp or chair lift.

And Johnston says people may be surprised to learn the loan is not just for very-low income homeowners. For example a family of five with an income of just over $81,000 is eligible for the loan.

“We have a lot of elderly people who take advantage of it after hearing about the program from Lambton Elderly Outreach.

“We have an elderly couple right now going through the program which needed electrical work done that could have render their home uninhabitable,” she says. “But you don’t have to be at risk of losing your home to take advantage of the program – it doesn’t have to be a desperate; as long as funds are available and they apply, they are eligible.”

But Johnston says lately people haven’t been applying. Lambton has $250,000 each year to distribute with the federal program. That’s enough to help at least 18 homeowners. So far this year, there have been only three projects applied for and approved.

“I really think we’re not getting the demand in the program because people are not aware of it,” she says adding by talking to The Independent she hopes people will consider the program for themselves or an elderly neighbour in need.

“It is sad when you hear of a senior who struggled to get money for a stair lift when they could have accessed that grant with no strings attached.”

“I’m hoping maybe the little old lady in her home – maybe she won’t read it, but the daughter will …or people will pass it on to people who might need it.”

Johnston is hoping to complete 15 more projects this year and have a small waiting list to start 2016.

55 Responses to “WANTED: Lambton homeowners seeking renovation money”

  1. karen

    and where would people get ahold of Melissa Johnson ..ive never heard of this program myself but in case i would want to how do you get ahold of her

    • iadmin

      This program is offered through the County of Lambton for Lambton County residents only. Melisa Johnson can be reached through the county at 59-845-0801

  2. Karen Barry

    Hi there
    Can you please send me the link to apply for the home owners reno grant? I am a single mom in desperate need of a new septic system. I previously applied for the environmental grant but the funding available was very minimal towards the cost of the entire project..
    Kind regards,
    Karen Barry

  3. J. Kelly

    I’m very interested as I’m a disabled senior. What is the criteria for this program ? Thanks

  4. Bev Wagner

    Hi…I am a single mother with two teenage boys and a home that is in need of repairs…I am very interested in filling out an applicatuin to see if I would qualify……….Thank-you

  5. Rebecca carlson

    Interested in information on signing up for grant money

  6. Carol Wiles

    We need a roof and plumbing repairs to the bathroom the water wont shut off in the tub and the window inside the bathtub is rotted and mold and the wall behind the tub surround is falling into the tub

      • iadmin

        This is a news website. Inquiries for the program should be submitted to the County of Lambton attention Melisa Johnson.

  7. Sondra

    Would like more info on this loan as my house that I have lived in and owned now for 10 years needs so “non cosmetics” such as roof repair, leaky basement, kitchen for is weak, and bathroom walks are most as are the basement from the leaks. I have two small children so I have to be careful that black mold doesn’t start but don’t have the funds to fix this at the moment and don’t plan on moving any time soon. Thank you

  8. Yvonne Huggett

    I would like to know more. I really need help.
    Thank you

  9. Melissa

    I am very interested and would like to hear back from you. Thank you

  10. Jaime Book

    My mom needs this and I want to help her get this, please tell me what we need to do

    Very old house, roof is leaking and very old
    Electrical is very out of date

  11. Steve and cathy lithgow

    We used this for accessable bathroom. However are we still able to apply for problems that need fixing etc.

  12. Charlene

    I would love more info on this, we have an old house I would love to renovate for our family of 6

  13. Janet MacKey

    Hi Melissa. My granddaughter posted this. Probably because I told her the other day that we are again thinking of selling our house. I am 82, my husband 87. The likelihood of us staying anywhere for 10 years is slim. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t afford to stay here alone if something happened to my husband. Our house is only 25 years old and in very good condition. Our issue which will probably cause us to sell is keeping up the outside work and minor repairs. Would your funding help us?

  14. verna vennell

    can you please tell me who we contact for this grant..? thank you

  15. Debbie Houle

    This will help so many people. My husband is 53 years old retired electrician & on disability for over 8yrs, he has COPD from working in the plants. There is no possible way to get new siding on our house, we have small pieces missing around house it would be truly wanderful to get help to fix up our home.

  16. Derrick Blain

    I am a recent single father of two who works hard to stay on top of things. I have been in my house for 14years and have recently found that it needs a major foundation repair that I can not afford to do. I can appreciate those who can help others as I try to help those I can

  17. Susan Jackson

    Hi, I’m having issues with mold in our house caused by a leaky window and maybe a crack in the foundation. I was wondering if this would be covered. I don’t make a lot of money and my husband is now layed off and we don’t have any savings left.

  18. Patricia

    How do u go about to apply for a few indoor renovations?

    Thanks so much!

  19. K. Thomas Hall

    I am a senior with my wife turning 60 this year. Our total income is in the 40k range, own our home with taxes and mortgage in good standing. We are in need of both a new roof and accessibility upgrades.
    How do we apply?
    Tom Hall

  20. Kim Orrange

    I would like to apply for a new roof, how may I do this?

  21. Tina russell

    I’m replying to this because as of December 2014 my husband has been out of work due to a injury on his shoulder. He will be having surgiry at the end of August 2015. We r in need of new windows and new flooring. There is no way we can ever afford this with him prob not going back to work til the new year like February or March. I’m hoping to hear back from u. Thanks Tina

  22. Bob Bartholomew/Betty Bartholomew

    I would like to have more information on this project. Our deck roof at one end needs to be lifted up. We live in a mobile home in Lambton Shores. We are both seniors. Would our home qualify for such a grant.

    • Bob Bartholomew/Betty Bartholomew

      we need some assistance with having our deck roof lifted up at one end.

  23. Cathy Elliott

    I have heard about this loan, but never knew where to send it. I would like to upgrade my hydro and haven’t been able to finish my ceiling after the leak in the roof. I also nee a couple new windows and better doors to keep the wind out. This would help me stay in my home and be nice and toasty for the winter.

  24. Ashton

    I have a child age 6 and I have another one due soon and we live in a 2 bedroom home I need to either renovate my basement or put a small addition on my house to have enough room for the 4 of us and shortly there after another baby 🙂 I i could get help that would be great we have been here for 2 years and don’t plan on going anywhere

    • Janice Henderson

      If you could please let me know to apply for help to have some work done I would really appreciate it.
      Thank You

      • iadmin

        Inquiries for the program should be submitted to the County of Lambton attention Melisa Johnson.

  25. Doug Bisson

    The home I am committing to, has been my home for 5 years now. And because of indecision I have not committed any time or Money to “upgrades”. And this solid old home has nothing but poorly functioning windows throughout. Few open and to address replacing multiple windows has always been a project that was deemed too much. My mind has been made up during the last year, and I have committed to staying near my parents and Son. Your program has me very interested. Would like a chance to talk about it. Doug Bisson

  26. Diane Rawlings

    Wondering where or how to find out more about the loan program and who is eligible have some repairs that need to be done but no way to pay to get them done

  27. Lori Swartz

    I live in a house that is is desperate need of a new front door well the only door to my house. I wanted to see if and how I’d get more info on this program .

  28. Patricia Fletcher

    Please send me more info because my roof needs fixed asap!!! This is my first home.

  29. Carole Lane

    I am disabled living with my husband. Was a nurse when I did work.
    We need windows, roof, and accessibility to get in my back door and into bathtub. Easier access.
    We own our home. Unable to get these things as we cannot afford. Please email me and do not post to public. Need information.

  30. Ashley

    You are expecting people to put a second mortgage on their home for this program and do not disclose all the fees ahead of time. It is not until you begin reading the actual process that the home owner will have to put money out and some people just can not do that. Also who wants a second mortgage in today’s society?

  31. Jim Richards

    We are seniors interested in either your grant program or forgivable loan program Please contact us on line or preferably. By phone 519-677-5337 Thank you

  32. J Paul Crosbie

    Would re plastering in the kitchen hallway and back room and put a new porch on the front of the house. I’m 53 and my wife is 57 and both still working telephone 519 383 7823

  33. Sonia Noel-Adrian

    Hello Melisa Johnson,
    I was reading a post on Facebook about your program and would like to set up an appointment for my mother and I to get more information about your program. We both need some work done and any help would be greatly appreciated! You can call and leave a message at 519-383-6165 anytime and I will get back to you asap. Thanks for your time!
    Sonia Noel-Adrian

    • iadmin

      This program is offered through the County of Lambton for Lambton County residents only. Melisa Johnson can be reached through the county at 59-845-0801

    • iadmin

      This program is offered through the County of Lambton for Lambton County residents only. Melisa Johnson can be reached through the county at 59-845-0801

  34. Tina

    can u please send me a application on how to apply for this, or a web site to go to please

    • iadmin

      This program is offered through the County of Lambton for Lambton County residents only. Melisa Johnson can be reached through the county at 519-845-0801

  35. Gail

    My mothyer has recently been diagnosed with ALS. Her and my father are working very hard to make modifications to their home to enable them to continue to reside in their current residence. Although we have seen some tremendous support from family, friends and community, there are still outstanding modifications (ramps, bathroom) required to maintain her quality of life. I am unsure if this is something that would qualify but would appreciate further communication in regards to your program.