Archive for November, 2009

A FINAL HOME IMPROVEMENT CHECKLIST from the Department of Consumer Affairs

Monday, November 23rd, 2009


Before you make the final payment on your home improvement project, make sure:


  • All work meets the standards indicated in your contract;
  • You have a copy of the contractor’s City of Cleveland License/Registration Certificate and written warranties for materials and workmanship;
  • All subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. Get proof! Lien laws may allow for a mechanic’s lien to be filed against your home to satisfy unpaid bills!
  • All excess material, tools and equipment have been cleared away and your site has been cleaned to your satisfaction; and
  • You have inspected and approved the project.


Department of Consumer Affairs

500 Lakeside Avenue, Second Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

(216) 664-4529

(216) 420-8162 Fax

Se habla Español


HOW TO AVOID FORECLOSURE: Tips from the Department of Consumer Affairs

Monday, November 23rd, 2009



There are many reasons why homeowners fall behind in their loan
payments. Loss of employment, divorce, unexpected illnesses or medical expenses are all Life-altering occurrences that can happen to anyone!
Here are some steps you can take to avoid losing your home to


Don’t Be Embarrassed

Lenders do not want to foreclose, and will usually work with you to get you back on track. If you stop paying your home loan, the situation can get worse and the lender can foreclose, taking ownership of your home. Start by contacting your lender as soon as you know your payments will
be late, never ignore the lender’s letters or phone calls and never assume your situation is hopeless.


Solutions for Temporary Problems:


Reinstatement might be possible when you are behind in your payments but can promise a lump sum
to bring payments current by a specific date.



In forbearance, you are allowed to delay payments for a short period, with the understanding that another option will be used afterwards to bring the account current. Lenders sometimes combine Forbearance with Reinstatement if you know you’ll have the funds to bring your account current by
a specific date.


Repayment Plan “Short Sale”

This is where the mortgage company will allow you to sell your property for less than fair market
value. This prevents the word FORECLOSURE from being on your credit, the mortgage company is
paid and you can start over.


Repayment plan (often called a forbearance)

A great option, as long as you have steady income and can commit to making significantly higher
monthly payments than before. Before you commit to a repayment plan, be absolutely certain that
you can follow through with your commitment. Otherwise, you’ll end up sending the bank a lot of
money and still end up in foreclosure a couple of months later.


Mortgage modification

You may be able to refinance the debt and/or extend the term of your mortgage loan. This may help
you catch up by reducing the monthly payments to a more affordable level. You may qualify if you
have recovered from a financial problem but your net income is less than it was before the default
(failure to pay).


Partial claim

Your lender may be able to work with you to obtain an interest-free loan from HUD to bring your
mortgage current. Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency for further information.


Pre-foreclosure sale

This will allow you to sell your property and pay off your mortgage loan to avoid foreclosure and
damage to your credit rating.


Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure

As a last resort, you may be able to voluntarily “give back” your property to the lender. This won’t
save your house, but it will help your chances of getting another
mortgage loan in the future.


For additional information and free
advice dial 2-1-1 or (216) 436-2000.


Department of Consumer Affairs

500 Lakeside Avenue, Second Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Phone: (216) 664-4529

Fax: (216) 420-8162

Se Habla Español

Dedicated to the protection of Cleveland Consumers.”


When Hiring A Contractor for Home Improvement or Repair

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

When Hiring A Contractor for
Home Improvement or Repair


Check out the contractor:

♦ Interview each contractor you are considering, ask for and check references.

♦ Get estimates from at least three different contractors for comparison.

♦ Verify if a contractor is licensed bonded and insured to do work in
the City of Cleveland by calling the City of Cleveland Department
of Building & Housing at (216) 664-2910.

♦ Check with the local Better Business Bureau to see if a contractor
has had any complaints.

Avoid oral contracts! Insist on a written contract that includes the
contractor’s name, address, telephone number, license/registration
number, a complete description of all work to be done, start and
end date, total price, any additions or changes made, and any
warranties including timelines.



Make sure that the contractor obtains a permit to do the work — DO NOT let the
contractor convince you to get a homeowners permit for the work. Request to see the
permit before the work begins.



Understand your payment options:

DO NOT let the contractor arrange a loan for you.

♦ Make sure that you have an affordable payment schedule.

DO NOT pay the full amount up front.

♦ Pay a reasonable down payment and pay the balance upon
completion and final inspection of the project.

AVOID PAYING CASH and always get a receipt for all

♦ Keep copies of all your paperwork!






For more information contact:

Department of Consumer Affairs

500 Lakeside Avenue, Second Floor

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Phone: 216-664-4529

Fax: 216-420-8162

Se habla Español

“Dedicated to the protection of
Cleveland Consumers.”

Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP)

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP)

HWAP provides grants up to $65oo per unit through the State of Ohio for homeowners and tenants who meet income guidelines. The weatherization is performed by private contractors trained to State of Ohio standards. HWAP offers low or fixed-income residents energy efficient measures designed to decrease utility bills and improve energy deficiencies. The program provides education to residents regarding weatherizing homes.

Income Guidelines

Number in Household        Maximum Household Income

  1. $21,660
  2. $29,140
  3. $36,620
  4. $44,100
  5. $51,580
  6. $59,060
  7. $66,540
  8. $74,020

For households with more than eight persons, add $5,400 for each additional member.

To apply for the HWAP program contact one of the following agencies:

East Side Locations:

Cleveland Housing Network 2999 Payne Ave. #306 Cleveland OH 44114 (216)574-7100

Mt. Pleasant NOW Dev. 13815 Kinsman Rd.

Cleveland OH 44120


Fairfax Renaissance Corp. 8111 Quincy Ave.

Cleveland OH 44016



West Side Locations:

Cudell Improvement Inc.

9821 Lorain Ave

Cleveland OH 44102 (216)228-4383

Detroit Shoreway Dev.

6516 Detroit Ave.

Cleveland OH 44102

(216) 961-4242

Community Housing Solutions
1967 West 45th St. Cleveland OH 44102

(216) 651-0077



2009-2010 Homebuyer Incentives

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

$8,000.00 Federal Tax Credit for First Time Homebuyers &

$6,500.00 for other buyers of Primary Home Extended til April 30, 2010

An $8000 tax credit is available for first time home buyers for purchases made after January 1, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. The $8000 is a true credit, if you don’t plan on moving within three years and is more valuable than a deduction.

The tax credit does not have to be repaid. The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8000, for first time home buyers, and up to $6500 for other buyers of a primary home –purchased after November 6, 2009 and/or before April 30, 2010 (or purchased by June 30, 2010 with a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010.

Tax credit amount is based on a married couple filing jointly- for married persons filing separate returns the amount may be ½.

Single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax credit. Check for updates for instructions for non-married persons who co-own a house and want to take the credit and whether the Tax Credit can be used for closing costs or down payment assistance at:

The First Energy Fuel Fund

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The First Energy Fuel Fund provides a one time grant assistance to past due customers of The Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison, & Toledo Edison. The maximum benefit is $300 & customers must have made a payment within the past 90 days in order to qualify for the program.

Households whose gross income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for the First Energy Fuel Fund.

Please Call the Appointment line to apply for the Fuel Fund at (216)574-7120 ext 261

When calling for an appointment, you may be directed to one of the following HEAP sites:

Merrick House- 3167 Fulton Rd.

Famicos Foundation- 1325 Ansel Rd.

Fairfax Renaissance Dev. Corp- 8111 Quincy Ave.

Slavic Village Dev. Corp -5620 Broadway Ave.

Cleveland Clinic Community Health Center

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Cleveland Clinic Community Health Center

2390 E. 79th St., 2nd Floor

For more info or to register for any of these events call (216)361-1773

Health Screenings:

The Cleveland Clinic Health Center will be holding its FIRST Community Wellness Day on Saturday November 21st from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Langston Hughes Center. Free screenings, information about area services, health talks, cooking demonstrations, and more! There are even special surprises planned for kids, so come on out and join us!


Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:00am- 4:00pm.

Screenings include: diabetes, blood pressure, HIV, TB, & STD’s, education/counseling, physicals, immunizations, & referrals.

* Appointments are preferred.


Wednesday, November 18th: 10:00- 10:45am

The holidays are right around the corner!

“Dealing with Holiday Stress,” a talk by Andrea Peters, LSW with Cleveland Clinic, will give you pointers on how to get through it!


Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Learn self management skills & track your progress weekly to manage a variety of chronic health conditions & optimize your ability to live a productive & satisfying life! A series of 6 classes will meet every Wed. starting Nov. 4th thru Dec. 9th. Pick the location best for you!

  1. Fatima Family Center: 1:00pm- 3:30pm
  2. Cleveland Clinic Community Health Center 1:00pm- 3:00pm. Class size is limited. Call (216) 361-1773 for more details & to register.


Don’t miss FREE health screenings

every Friday from 2:00pm- 5:00pm

with Cleveland Clinic Community Health Initiative (CHI)

at FRDC 8111 Quincy Ave.


Wednesday, November 11th, 2009


Saturday November 14th from 9:00am to 1:00pm

At UH’s MacDonald Woman’s Hospital

Breast Cancer Suite 1005 (1st floor)

Free Screening mammograms for women ages 40-65 with minimal or no health insurance.

Transportation, free parking, childcare, refreshments, screening for mammogram, & follow-up services included!

Call (216)844-3097 for more info!

Who “ARE” You?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Who “ARE” You?

How do you express yourself? Through poetry? Dance? Drawing?

Artistic Renaissance Expressions (ARE) will be meeting for the 1st TIME for an

“open mic” time of sharing!

Friday Nov 20th, from 3pm to 5pm at the Langston Hughes Center, 2390 E.79th St. 2nd Floor.

You’ll never be the same! Call 361-1773 for more details & to register!

Thanksgiving Day at the Zoo

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Don’t Miss Thanksgiving Day at the Zoo!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

10:00am- 5:00pm

Bring your family and friends to the Zoo on Thanksgiving Day & enjoy FREE admission to the Zoo!!

As an added holiday treat, visitors can see special animal enrichment demonstrations

& special feedings throughout the day!

For more information call the Zoo at (216) 661-6500