February 18, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply for an Emergency/Critical job?

We take all applications for Emergency/Critical repair jobs over the telephone. Call us during regular business hours.  We record the information you give to us and verify home ownership and eligibility.  You will be required to provide copies of your proofs of income (or no income) as part of the application process.

  • How do I apply for  Home Repair job?

Currently we do have a waiting list of approved Home Repair applications.  If you would like to be considered for a Home Repair job, please call us during regular business hours and we will add you to our Home Repair Interest List.  As funding becomes available, homeowners on the Home Repair Interest List will be invited to submit an application for service.

  • What is a “proof of income”?

Typically, a proof of income is the current year’s award letter from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income telling you how much you are to receive each month.  If you or someone in the home works, we will ask to see 6 months of pay stubs.  Child support, alimony, letters from the Veterans Administration, or notice of pension payments are also proofs of income.

  • What happens after my application has been approved?

Approved applications will be placed on the waiting list to be assigned to an IHMS crew supervisor.  Please remember that Emergency/Critical applications take priority over Home Repair applications.  Once your application is assigned to an IHMS crew supervisor, the supervisor will contact you to make an appointment to come and asses the job you have asked us to do.  During the screening process, the supervisor verifies that work requested is within the scope of our funding and skill set.  Once the job is screened and approved, the IHMS crew supervisor will contact you to schedule a time to come out and complete the work.

  • What if someone in the house is over 18 years old but isn’t working?

For an adult staying at the house who has no income, he or she must provide us with verification from the Department of Jobs and Family Services or One Stop Ohio that he or she is unemployed and, if appropriate, seeking work. If the adult is a full-time student, he or she  has to provide proof of full-time student status.

  • What if you can’t reach me when it is time for my job to be done?

The easy way to avoid this problem is for you to make sure that we have your current telephone or cellular phone numbers. If your phone number changes, call us and let us know so we can update your record. We will attempt to call you twice.  We will leave a message if you have a working answering machine. If we cannot reach you we will attempt to send you a letter asking you to contact us. During this waiting period we will move on to the next person on the waiting list.  If we do not hear from you after the date we put in the letter, we will remove your application from the active file and you will be required to submit a new application or go back on the Home Repair Interest list.

  • I know I have to be the owner of record of the house.  What does that mean, exactly?

We determine ownership by verifying that your home is in your name according to the Mahoning County Auditor’s Property Search. We add to the household income the names of everyone listed as owners. If you own the home with someone who is not living in the home, we will still have to include that person’s income unless that person is willing to grant to you a life tenancy of the home.  You can obtain a sample of a life tenancy letter from the IHMS office, or any other source you prefer.  The life tenancy letter must be signed and notarized by any other owner or owners of the home you live in. There are many circumstances where someone else’s name is shown as owners.  Generally, IHMS will require you to make sure that the home is in your name and has been in your name for at least one year before we can work for you, but you should contact us with any questions you may have in this matter.

  • What if I am buying the house under land contract?

Unfortunately, we are unable at this time to do work in a home being purchased under land contract but once you become the owner of record and have been so for 1 year or more, you can put in an application.

  • If I rent a room to someone do you count the renter’s income?

Yes, we include all income from all sources for all people staying at the house.  We will count the renter’s income and we also count the dollar amount of rent paid to you as part of your income.