Client services

Need help with your house?

AHIP provides smaller emergency repairs and larger housing rehabs for
income-eligible homeowners and residents in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

emergency repairs

Do you have an urgent repair or repairs that need attention? The Emergency Home Repair program helps individuals and families with small but critical repairs. Examples include:

  • plumbing leak
  • handicap access ramp
  • broken door or window
  • dangerous stairs or stoop
  • failed water heater
  • electrical hazard
  • roof leak
  • well repair
  • mobile home repairs

home rehabs

Does your house need more extensive work? The Housing Rehab program helps homeowners with home renovations, system upgrades, or larger repairs. Examples include:

  • electrical or plumbing upgrade
  • roof replacement
  • HVAC installation
  • new siding
  • kitchen and bath renovation
  • foundation and other structural repairs
  • septic system replacement

Rehab clients must be homeowners, or have a documented life estate on the property, and must live in the home that is to be repaired. All rehabs are secured with a deed of trust on the property.

energy-efficiency measures

In 2010, AHIP launched the Energy Efficiency program to reduce household costs, increase families’ health and comfort, and reduce our community’s energy usage. Examples of energy upgrade tasks include:

  • airsealing
  • duct-wrapping
  • conditioning crawl spaces
  • installing energy-efficient appliances, plumbing fixtures, windows, doors, and HVAC systems
  • insulating

AHIP jobs seek to achieve a minimum 20 percent efficiency gain as set by the U.S. Department of Energy. From 2013-2016, AHIP completed 55 energy-efficiency projects that resulted in an average efficiency gain of 32 percent and significant savings on energy bills for homeowners.

AHIP’s processes

All of AHIP’s client projects are accomplished with our rehab staff overseeing all phases of the project cycle, from client intake and counseling to planning, construction, and volunteer coordination. AHIP is a state-licensed Class A Contractor and an EPA-certified lead abatement contractor. We employ full-time construction crew staff and partner with local and regional subcontractors to get our projects done. The following is an overview of our processes that we adhere to for comprehensive Home Rehab work. Please contact our office at 434.817.2447 with questions about our procedures.

Step 1: Intake
We conduct a preliminary screening of all client homeowners, and enter responses relating to family demographics, income, and existing housing quality into our client database. With more than 400 households currently on our waitlist, we cannot get to everyone right away; however, we prioritize our waitlist by households with small children, elderly occupants, and disabled occupants, and households with a severe health and safety hazard (e.g., no water, no heat, septic emergency). Sometimes special funds allow us to help homeowners in a certain neighborhood or who meet certain criteria.

AHIP maintains the area’s only waiting list for home repair services, which makes AHIP the de facto resource for local data on housing quality for low-income homeowners. On average, AHIP receives 10-15 calls per week from people seeking help; in times of severe weather, those calls spike. When residents or their advocates call a locality, peer nonprofit, or social services agencies seeking help with home repairs, they are referred to AHIP. County and city officials consistently rely on AHIP’s data for a real-time snapshot of the problem.

Step 2: Eligibility/Rehab Specialist Assignment
Once AHIP’s Associate Director of Rehab and Repair reviews initial client eligibility, she assigns our client families to an AHIP Rehab Specialist who serves as the day-to-day project contact. The Rehab Specialist meets with the client family to thoroughly explain the program, talk to the homeowner about his or her house, and conduct an inspection. The Rehab Specialist is responsible for collecting all required documentation to finalize eligibility, including income verification, ownership of the property where the work will be performed, mortgage statements, and homeowners insurance.

AHIP’s clients are extremely low- to low-income, with the household income of AHIP households in fiscal year 2016 averaging $26,075 (or 31 percent of the Area Median Income for greater Charlottesville). AHIP’s services are designed to help local citizens struggling with poverty; 26 percent of city residents (some 12,000 people) live below the poverty level as cited by United States Census Bureau poverty statistics for 2010-2014 and population statistics for 2015, and 9 percent of Albemarle County residents (9,600 people) live below the poverty level.

Step 3: City Building Inspection or County Section 8 Checklist
After the Rehab Specialist has been assigned to a project, the next steps vary depending on whether the client lives in the City of Charlottesville or Albemarle County. In the city, a city building inspector visits the property and makes a list of home repairs that must be addressed according to the local maintenance code and federal and local funding guidelines. This inspection report is sent to AHIP’s Rehab Specialist to estimate costs for each repair.

In the county, AHIP mostly uses federal and state funds, which require our Rehab Specialist to complete an extensive Section 8 checklist of all deficiencies and safety hazards.

In addition to the city inspection and our Section 8 inspection, AHIP also orders any necessary specialty inspections: chimney, pest, electrical, plumbing, and energy audit. The results of these inspections are taken into consideration and incorporated into the scope of work.

Step 4: Scope of Work, Costs & Approval
The Rehab Specialist finalizes a scope of work and estimates costs for each project. Considering the current AHIP crew workload, the Rehab Specialist determines whether certain repair projects will be performed by our in-house construction crew or sent out for bidding to subcontractors. Jobs that may be performed by subcontractors include roofs, HVAC systems, chimneys, gas lines, termite remediation, excavation, and insulation.

The Rehab Specialist reviews this proposed scope and estimate with the homeowner. If there are items that have been left out, we work with the homeowner to try to incorporate them if funding and fit allow. Keep in mind that AHIP stays focus on health and safety issues, but we work with the homeowner as best as we can. In some cases, we can use private funds and volunteer support to close gaps on items that the public entities cannot cover.

In the city, AHIP submits the comprehensive scope of work and estimate to Neighborhood Development Services, which are then reviewed by the Housing Development Specialist. The city verifies all the eligibility documentation – including an additional loan-value ratio requirement that needs to be met – and then approves AHIP’s scope of work and estimate and approves funding.

AHIP’s Rehab Director reviews the client’s household budget, looking at income, housing costs, and other costs, in order to determine if the client has an ability to contribute financially toward some of the costs of the project. If they do, we set up a no-interest, long-term loan to go toward a portion of the project cost. The majority of our clients do not have an ability to pay.

For projects funded with public dollars, homeowners must agree to place a deed of trust on the property for the cost of the project. This deed of trust is set up as a deferred and forgivable loan, meaning that the client does not have to pay it back and that the amount gets reduced each year until it disappears. For a 10-year lien, it would be reduced 1/10th each year for 10 years. If the house sells, refinances, or transfers ownership to someone who is not eligible for our services, the homeowner would have to pay back the balance to either the City of Charlottesville (for projects in the city) or AHIP (for projects in the county).

Step 5: Under Contract
It is now time for the client to review the finalized scope of work and all legal agreements, and then sign contracts in order to get started on completing the work. In the city, AHIP works with the City Attorney’s Office to draft a promissory note, or deed of trust, along with AHIP’s contract related to the construction work.

In the county, clients are presented a deed of trust and construction contract with AHIP. Once our client family signs to agree to the legal documents, the project is considered “under contract.”

Step 6: Construction
Once a project has been placed on the construction schedule, AHIP’s Construction Supervisor and/or subcontractors secure proper work permits. The client helps make decisions on priorities and problem-solving issues as they arise, not only to make paint or flooring selections but perhaps recruit family or friends to help on a volunteer component of the project.

The city regularly inspects the work as the project moves forward. The county housing office conducts mid-point inspections of any state-funded neighborhood rehab project.

In addition to holding a Class A Contractor’s license, AHIP is an EPA- and state-certified Lead Abatement Contractor. AHIP partners with Building Performance Institute (BPI)-certified building analysts at LEAP and WeatherSeal on all of our energy-efficiency upgrade projects from pre-testing to close-out.

AHIP’s Home Rehab and Emergency Home Repair programs meet a variety of industry standards, including: HUD health and safety inspection guidelines; local property maintenance and building codes (based on state and national standards); and the BPI standards for best practices in energy efficiency. AHIP’s third-party inspectors (plumbing, electrical, energy auditors, chimney, pest, etc.) or third-party county and city building officials use HUD guidelines and/or building code or BPI standards to evaluate our work.

Step 7: Final Inspection & Punch List
When the project is nearing completion, AHIP conducts a final walk-through with the client. This is when either the Construction Supervisor or the client identifies repairs as part of the scope of work that are not yet completed. A final inspection report verifies that all repairs and upgrades have been completed and are satisfactory.

The city inspector conducts an inspection of the entire scope of work and signs off that it is satisfied with the completion of all work. The county housing office also conducts final inspections, as well as a third-party, independent inspector hired by AHIP to sign off on all completed work.

Step 8: Close-out & Warranty
With construction complete, AHIP’s Associate Director of Rehab and Repair holds a meeting with the client to close out the project. Once the close-out documents are signed, the client is removed from our waiting list. At close-out for projects completed with state funds, our county clients receive a homeowner’s manual on maintenance, as well as a step ladder, tool kit, fire extinguisher, cleaning supplies, and other items to help with maintenance projects.

All of AHIP’s work is warrantied for one year, so if something goes wrong, AHIP staff will return to make it right. For city clients, the warranty begins on the date of the final inspection; the warranty for county residents begins on the date of the third-party inspection.

for more information or to sign up

Please call Laurie Jensen at AHIP at 434-817-2447 x21. She will ask you a few
questions to assess your repair needs and find out if you initially qualify for AHIP’s programs. We currently have a waiting list and try to address true emergencies and the most vulnerable households first.

Need a place to live?

  • Contact Park’s Edge Apartments at 434-973-4770 x21 for information about one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Park’s Edge is located in Albemarle County on Whitewood Road. Income restrictions apply.
  • Contact Treesdale Park Apartments at 434.971.7368 for information about one- and two-bedroom apartments. Treesdale Park is located in Albemarle County on East Rio Road. Income restrictions apply.
  • Contact the Albemarle County Housing Office at 434.296.5839 for more information about affordable communities in the area and rental housing subsidies.

client services

For assistance call
our office at
434.817.2447 x21

homeowner’s manual

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