SELF home improvement program alternative to controversial PACE financing

SELF home improvement program alternative to controversial PACE financing


8 ON YOUR SIDE HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING CONSUMER RIPS OFF — RIPOFFS WITH THE GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED PACE PROGRAM. IT FUNDS HOME-IMPROVEMENT AND PLACES THE BALANCE ON YOUR TAX BILL. THE OPTION THAT COSTS HOMEOWNERS LESS THAN THE PACE PROJECT WE HAVE INVESTIGATED. Reporter: SYLVIA THOMPSON IS FINALLY GETTING THE NEW AIR- CONDITIONER SHE DESPERATELY NEEDS BUT NEVER THOUGHT SHE COULD AFFORD. I CAN HANDLE THE PAYMENTS. Reporter: THOMPSON IS PAYING $8000 INCLUDING FINANCING FOR A TOP-OF-THE-LINE SYSTEM UNDER THE SO-CALLED SELF FUND, A NONPROFIT HOME-IMPROVEMENT FINANCING PROGRAM THAT SHE CALLS A BLESSING. A BLESSING, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING SHE HAS ONE SON WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AND EPILEPSY AND ANOTHER ONE WHO IS AUTISTIC. SHE ALSO CARES FOR TWO SMALL CHILDREN IN HER HOME. IT IS HOT RIGHT NOW BUT BEYOND TONIGHT I WILL BE GOOD. Reporter: THE PROGRAM IS FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT GRANTS, CHURCHES, AND PRIVATE INVESTORS. WE ARE ACTUALLY BUILDING A LOAN AROUND THEIR ABILITY TO PAY AS OPPOSED TO PUSHING A LOAN ON THEM THAT IS BEYOND THEIR MEANS. Reporter: OUR INVESTIGATION OF THE PESO McCRIMMON PROGRAM REVEALED A LOT OF HOMEOWNERS BORROWING BEYOND THEIR MEANS. WE UNCOVERED ONE CONTRACTOR WHO HIRED TWO CONVICTED CON ARTISTS AS HIS CONTRACTING TEAM AND ANOTHER CONTRACTOR WHO CHARGE THE CUSTOMER MORE THAN $125,000 FOR REROOF, INSULATION, AND AIR CONDITIONING. I AM SICKENED BY IT. THE FOLKS WE ARE TRYING TO HELP ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE POPULATION. Reporter: SELF PROGRAM IS PARTNERING WITH ST. PETERSBURG TO HELP MORE PEOPLE WITH UNSECURED LOANS THAT WON’T ENDANGER THEIR HOMEOWNERSHIP IF THEY FALL BEHIND IN THEIR PAYMENTS. WORKING-CLASS FAMILIES IN AMERICA ARE ALREADY STRUGGLING. WE MOST CERTAINLY DON’T NEED TO HAVE UNSCRUPULOUS CONTRACTORS COMING IN AND PUTTING THEIR HOME AT RISK. Reporter: SYLVIA THOMPSON SAYS THANKS TO HER NEW AC UNIT, HER EPILEPTIC SUNLESS HEALTH IS NO LONGER AT RISK. SHE SAYS IT IS MEDICALLY NECESSARY FOR HER SON. AT THE PRICE SHE IS PAYING, SHE CAN AFFORD IT. MARK DOUGLAS, NEWS CHANNEL 8. PASCO COUNTY IS NOW CLAMPING DOWN ON UNSCRUPULOUS CONTRACTORS AND PASTE LOAN PROVIDERS. HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY IS CONDUCTING A TOP TO BOTTOM REVIEW OF CONSUMER SAFEGUARDS IN THE PACE PROGRAM. YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

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