How it Works
Step 1: An Application is Filed With the Program Office
- An application can be:
- Downloaded under the Homeowner Application (PDF)
- Requested from the Office of Community Development by mail:
Town of Webster
Office of Community Development
350 Main Street
Webster, MA 01570
Phone: 508-949-3800, ext. 4004
- Requested via email
- The property owner submits an application, a copy of the most recent federal tax return(s) (if filed) for all household members and a copy of the deed to the property to the Housing Rehabilitation Program. If there are rental units in the property, please also submit the Owner-Occupied Multi-family Supplement Application (PDF).
- The application and other documentation is then evaluated to determine if the owner (and/or tenants) and property are eligible to participate. The Program will check to determine if there are unpaid taxes, water or sewer charges - if either is unpaid or behind they must be made current in order to proceed. Additional documentation needed will then be requested from the homeowner (and tenants if applicable).
Applicants required to contribute toward the cost of rehabilitation will receive information on banks knowledgeable of the Program from the Program staff.
Step 2: The Scope of Work is Determined
- If the property and residents meet eligibility criteria, the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist schedules a visit to conduct a preliminary property inspection and discuss potential work items with the property owner.
- Following the initial visit, the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist prepares work specifications for eligible rehabilitation items and forwards them to the property owner. Agreed upon changes are made to the work specifications once the property owner has reviewed and discussed such with the Specialist.
Step 3: The Project is Put Out to Bid
- Program staff sends an Invitation to Bid to contractors who have registered with the Program. The owner can solicit bids from other contractors, with the understanding that the contractor must register with the Program and be approved by Program Staff.
- The Housing Rehabilitation Specialist distributes work specifications and conducts a showing of the project for prospective bidders where appropriate.
- Sealed bids are due at the Program office by a predetermined date and time.
Step 4: A Contractor is Selected
Program staff reviews the bids received with the property owner. Financial assistance is based upon the lowest, responsible bid from a qualified contractor. The owner may select any bidder provided that the owner pays the difference between the low bid and the bid selected by the owner
Step 5: Contractual Agreements Are Signed
Program Staff prepares the following agreements for execution by the property owner:
- A legal Assistance Agreement between the Town and the Owner for financial assistance
- Contracts between the owner and the selected contractor for the work to be performed
- A lien to ensure that the grant funds are returned to the Town when the property is sold.
- Rental agreement or Affordable Housing Restriction (if a multi-unit building).
Signatures on the lien must be notarized. Town staff will serve as the notary free of charge during regular office hours. All of these documents must be executed prior to the start of construction. If there are rental units on the property, the owner must sign a Rental Agreement which limits the rent that can be charged and ensures that the unit will remain accessible to low and moderate income households.
Step 6: Contractor Payments Are Made by the Town
The Housing Rehabilitation Specialist approves contractor payment requests. Payments will be issued as two-party checks - requiring the signature of both the property owner and the contractor. "Progress" payments to the contractor are based on the%age of the work completed to date. In addition, ten% of the total job value is held back until the work is complete and the contractor submits all required sign-offs and warranties.
Step 7: A Final Inspection is Conducted at Project Completion
- A final inspection is conducted prior to releasing the contractor's final payment. If deficiencies are found during the final inspection, a punch list is developed by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist and forwarded to the contractor.
- Work completed through the program is guaranteed by the contractor for one year following project completion.
- Prior to issuing final payment, the Program will review all paperwork and ensure that Town inspectors have signed off on all permits.
Change Orders During Construction
From time to time, Change Orders to the contract are required to revise the scope of work, or to change the completion date. Change Orders must be approved by Program Staff prior to the change order being executed.
Homeowner Requirements During Construction
Property owners are expected to take an active role in the project. The contract for the work is between the property owner and the contractor. The Town is not a party to the contract, but Program Staff are present to provide financial assistance and to ensure that the funds are spent properly. The owner should have the name and phone number of the contractor doing the work to be able to ask questions and discuss the progress of the work, matters of concern, or other issues relating to the project.
The property owner is responsible for monitoring daily construction activity. Other responsibilities include:
- Contacting the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist if Change Orders are proposed, or problems arise that cannot be resolved between the contractor and property owner. Changes or additions must be approved by the Rehab Specialist prior to the contractor proceeding with the work.
- Approving payments to the contractor by signing the 2-party checks issued by the Town.
Note: Program policies prohibit the property owner from entering into outside (side) agreements with the contractor while work provided by the program is ongoing.
Program'S Housing Rehabilitation Specialist's Role During Construction
The Housing Rehabilitation Specialist is available to provide technical assistance throughout the project. Specifically during construction, the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist:
- Holds a pre-construction conference to review Program guidelines and procedures jointly with the contractor and owner.
- Monitors progress and performs inspections inspections when payments are requested by the contractor.
- Prepares Change Orders for changes approved by the Program, property owner and contractor.
- Conducts final inspection to ensure all work has been done to specifications set forth by the contract.
- Prepares a "punch list" for the contractor if determined necessary at the final inspection.