The roof had a leak – "the place was leaking like a sieve," Harriett remembered – and when the Weatherization Assistance Program came to inspect, they found knob-and-tube wiring.
"Now I had two problems instead of one," Harriett lamented.
When she tried to find a bank to lend her the money, they all turned her down flat. "I couldn't qualify for a loan because I didn't have the income. Places were basically laughing at me," she said.
She decided to search for alternative sources of funding. "I heard about the Champlain Housing Trust and their loan fund in St. Albans when I went to Community Action. I was like, 'Wow, I should call these guys.'"
Harriett did call CHT, and she was pleasantly surprised. With the affordable loan from CHT, a new tin roof was put on, the entire property was rewired, the plumbing was upgraded, and the bathroom was renovated.
"It was really easy to go through the process. The paperwork was simple, and everyone [at CHT] was so friendly," Harriett recalled.
When all was said and done, Harriett couldn't be happier with how well all the work went. "Oversight on these jobs has been stellar, and all of the contractors were amazing. They did great work," Harriett said. One of the contractors would even "have his guys come over to plow my driveway in the winter, even if they didn't need access to it that day."
Harriett, who volunteers for the local Humane Society, hopes to go back to work part-time in the near future. "I'm starting to go a bit stir crazy," Harriett admitted. But for now she is just thankful that her home is safe and secure, with a loan that is affordable.
"I would have had to try to take out a second mortgage," with much higher interest rates, she noted, if this program was not available. "[CHT] was there to help."