The Hamilton County, Ohio, Home Improvement Program (HIP) was originally initiated in 2002, and then reinstated in May 2008. The HIP loan allows homeowners in Hamilton County communities to borrow money to repair or remodel homes or rental property at interest rates 3% below the lowest rate a bank would normally offer. The following banks participate: Fifth Third Bank, U.S. Bank, KeyBank, North Side Bank and First Safety Bank. The HIP loan is usually structured as a home equity loan, secured by a second mortgage on the property. Credit requirements apply.
Eligible residential (one- or two-family homes) and commercial properties must have an assessed value of less than $350,000 and must be current on property tax payments. There is no property value limit on multi-family dwellings (three or more units). Loans may be used for alteration, repair, maintenance or improvements, including renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, although funds may not be used for luxury projects (e.g., swimming pools, hot tubs) or for free-standing appliances. Appliances that are permanently installed are permissible.