RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The City of Raleigh is offering qualifying homeowners up to $90,000 of forgivable loans for home repairs through its Homeowner Rehabilitation Program.

For one family, the program preserves more than just a home — it preserves memories.

When you walk through the door of 101-year-old Mattie Jones’ house, you’ll find a lifetime of family memories.

Mattie Jones, left, and her daughter Cynthia Lyons, right (Marcus Wilson/CBS 17)

“I had six children,” she said. “I had five girls and one boy.”

All of them, including her daughter, Cynthia Lyons, grew up in their house in Raleigh.

Lyons currently lives at the house with her mother.

“Everybody’s at home, because this is grandma’s house. And at grandma’s house you feel the love when you walk in the door,” she said.

The home is more than 100 years old and recently needed some care.

“We needed a new foundation. The floors were getting soft, and the roof,” Lyons explained.

A few years ago, she and her mother applied for Raleigh’s Homeowner Rehabilitation Program, and they qualified for a forgivable loan to repair their family’s home.

“I cried. Because it was overwhelming, you know. This house has come a long way,” Lyons said.

The loan funded new floors, new doors, new windows, new cabinets, a new bathroom, and a new heating and cooling system.

“It’s like moving into a new house,” Lyons said. “We moved back home into a new home, and it was nice. It was great. Family in and out all the time, everybody wants to take a peek at the new house.”

“My brother came home after many years of being away and when he walked through the house he was fascinated,” she said. “He was amazed. He had never seen this house look like this before.”

How can you apply?

As of Monday, applications are now open again for the program.

According to the City of Raleigh, qualifying homeowners must:

  • Currently own and occupy the home to be rehabilitated
  • Continue to occupy the home as your primary residence after the work is complete
  • Have owned the home for at least five years
  • Be 62 years or older OR have a disability
  • Have a household income that does not exceed the income limits below

Homeowners also have to meet the following income requirements:

Income qualifications for Homeowner Rehabilitation Program (City of Raleigh)

Lyons said the loan is forgiven after the borrower continues to live in the home for five more years.



“It’s a really good deal and it did a lot for my family,” she said. “This is always home to me. It’s always been home.”

The application is open through Nov. 3.

Click here to apply.