Home Improvement Program


The Home Improvement Program (HIP) offers a deferred loan to homeowners for necessary property repairs, upgrades, improvements and for all required city code upgrades. The program requires the homeowner(s) to repair all health and hazardous violations identified as a result of the property inspection, along with their planned home improvements. When funds are limited, the city will have discretion to prioritize the correction of code violations and home improvements. Currently, there is an 18-month waiting list for the loan.

For assistance, or to answer any questions, please contact the Community Development Department, Housing Division at 323-563-9592, or via email.


  • Eligible property types include 1-to-4 unit property, condominium, mutual housing unit or mobile homes.
  • If the property has more than 1 unit, each tenant must submit an application and report individually their income in order for each unit to receive assistance.

Repairs Allowed

  • Attic Insulation
  • Bathroom, Bedroom, and Kitchen Repairs
  • Doors
  • Painting
  • Plumbing and Electrical Improvements
  • Roofing
  • Safety Improvements such as GFI Outlets
  • Water Heater Code Requirements
  • Window Replacement
  • Other Items Subject to Program Approval

Note: Remodeling, room additions and luxuries, such as A/C, high-end items are not permitted.

Loan Features

  • The maximum deferred loan amount is $65,000 and minimum is $20,000 with 0% interest. Note: The maximum loan of $65,000 can be exceeded on a case-by-case basis for justifiable reasons. An exception of this nature must be reviewed and approved by the city's Housing Administrator.
  • The loan is secured by a Deed of Trust (the conditions of the city’s loan) on the property.
  • The loan is due and payable to the city when the house is sold, no longer owner-occupied, ownership is transferred, refinanced with cash-out or at the death of the last surviving person signing the Deed of Trust.
  • The loan includes a closing cost fee of approximately $545, which is directly paid out of the loan amount. Loan costs are disclosed in writing before any agreements are signed but include a title report, recording fees, loan set-up and document preparation fees.
  • The program loan covers the cost for all home improvements and the loan-closing costs made by the city for the homeowner. The homeowner does not receive any cash. Funds are paid directly to the licensed contractor with the homeowner's approval. Homeowners and/or household members are prohibited from performing any type of work under the program.
  • A grant for lead-based paint abatement and termite fumigation is awarded with the loan.

Loan Requirements

To qualify for the loan, the homeowner(s) must meet the following requirements:

  • The property must be located in the City of South Gate and be the homeowner’s principle residence.
  • The applicant must provide documentation providing ownership of their home, proof of homeowners or hazard insurance and current property tax receipts.
  • The applicant(s) must be a citizen of the United States or legal resident alien. If married, at least one must be a legal resident alien.
  • Total household gross annual income cannot exceed the maximum household income adjusted to household size. If the property has more than 1 unit, the household income for each unit must be reported, and cannot exceed the maximum household income adjusted to household size. Household income is determined annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il2017/2017summary.odn
  • The property must have enough equity to secure a minimum loan amount of $20,000.
  • The property taxes, mortgage payments, and home insurance must be paid to date - No late payments allowed.
  • The mortgage note cannot have any balloon payments, negative amortization, interest only payments or reverse equity.
  • The homeowners cannot be in a home loan modification process or trial period.

Applying for the Loan

If you are interested in the program and believe you meet the requirements, please complete the initial application. The city will review your application and notify you in writing if you are qualified to participate in the program. Currently, there is an 18-month waiting list for the program.

For assistance, or to answer any questions, please contact the Community Development Department, Housing Division at 323-563-9592 or send an email.

Seeking Contractors

Seeking contractors to join our Home Improvement bidding contractor list.

  • Are you lead abatement certified contractor?
  • Are you a termite & pest control certified company?
  • Are you a state license contractor?
  • Do you have a City of South Gate business license?

Fill out and return: Contractor Application Form(PDF, 86KB) and submit copies of insurance certification.

When completed mail, email, fax, or hand deliver to: Victor H. Ferrer, Community Development Department.