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PICO RIVERA Workers were busy Monday readying the back yard of Pico Rivera homeowner Matilde Medina, who is adding a new garage to her three-bedroom home on Spruce Street. ‘It will make a difference,’ said the 85-year-old, who otherwise could not afford the addition on what she gets from Social Security. ‘It’s so hard to get a loan from any bank when you are low income.’ That’s where the city’s Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program stepped in. This year, the program received $800,000 through the state Department of Housing and Community Development. Last year, the city received $585,000 from the department, which receives the money through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and disperses it to applying cities. ‘Our hope is to upgrade housing stock, much of which is more than 50 years old,’ said Michelle Ramirez, Pico Rivera’s housing senior manager. Whittier has a similar program, the Home Rehabilitation Program, which provide loans ranging from $2,500 to $35,000 for home upgrades, depending on eligibility, said Jeff Collier, director of community development. ‘The key is to preserve housing stock you already have, and some people don’t have discretionary money to do that,’ said Collier. ‘That’s where we step in.’ [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The program has been hugely popular. The city has a waiting list of 1,300 households that have applied. Of those, at least 20 new loans will be processed this year, Ramirez said. ‘We are hoping this will help us to get caught up, so we can open up the list that is currently closed a few years down the road,’ said Ramirez. The program provides low-cost loans, typically in the $55,000 to $60,000 range, to homeowners who meet federal income limits. For example, a family of four with an income under $52,400 qualifies, as would a five-member family with an income of under $56,600. Once a resident is approved for a loan, they are responsible for hiring a contractor. Typically, the loans go toward kitchen and bath remodels, exterior painting, roof work and room additions, Ramirez said.