Local Nonprofit SELF Ready to Assist Hurricane Ian Recovery

Florida-based community lender provides specialty emergency loans for cash-strapped homeowners to afford repairs. Access SELF’s Loan Kit for Partners.

Update: December 16th, 2022: SELF’s cash loan product and deferred payment periods are no longer available after deploying nearly half a million in rapid-response loans. SELF continues to provide project-based loans up to $25,000 for home improvements and repairs.

GULF COAST, Fla, Oct. 6th, 2022 – SELF, a nonprofit community lender, has released two rapid-response loan products to help cash-strapped homeowners afford crucial home repairs and improvements. Both products were designed to help storm-impacted homeowners recover, repair, and rebuild as soon as possible, providing immediate funds while homeowners wait for insurance and FEMA settlements. 

The “Recover” loan is a flexible, cash-based product that provides up to $10,000 for whatever homeowners need to recover quickly: general clean-up, hiring handymen, transportation, and other home recovery expenses. The “Repair and Rebuild” loan is project-based, providing up to $18,000 for repairs such as roofs, windows, doors, AC, weatherization, and water and mold remediation. Both loans are unsecured and have a 12-month zero payment grace period before payments begin or interest accrues. This grace period provides homeowners time to resettle and return to work and for insurance and FEMA payments to arrive. Then, they have the option to repay the loans in full with no prepayment penalties.

“Storm damage worsens when homeowners wait,” says Ann Vanek-Dasovich, Tampa resident and SELF’s Chief Operations Officer. “Most families don’t have thousands in savings to afford the upfront costs and are forced to wait months for insurance or FEMA money. “Now, what was initially just a damaged roof or window often becomes full-house mold, making the home unlivable for longer and the repairs more expensive.”

SELF’s accessible loans enable disadvantaged homeowners to avoid resorting to predatory lenders in times of crisis. SELF’s inclusive underwriting is primarily based on each borrower’s ability to repay, not credit scores or home equity. Loans are unsecured, which gives borrowers access to low-interest loans without utilizing their homes as collateral. SELF has special programs for veterans, seniors on fixed incomes, female heads of households, people with disabilities, teachers, and those with low or no credit scores.

In the last decade, SELF has become the national leader in accessible lending to disadvantaged homeowners. SELF has partnerships with Miami-Dade, Orange, Hillsborough, Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach Counties, and the cities of Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Fort Worth Beach.

About SELF: SELF is the nation’s first nonprofit local Green Bank and CDFI on a mission is to rebuild and empower underserved communities by providing access to affordable and innovative financing for sustainable home improvement. SELF has financed over $29 million of sustainable and climate-resilient property improvements and helped more than 7,000 people. To learn more visit: solarenergyloanfund.org

To arrange an interview with SELF, contact Jake Sanders, Marketing Director, at 772-971-6367 or jakes@solarenergyloanfund.org