Boston is known for its beautiful architecture, and one of the most famous features of this city are its triple deckers. These are three-story apartment buildings with their own unique style — tall, narrow and long, with Victorian influences.

What you might not know about these buildings is that the City of Boston is making a huge push to make sure that the triple deckers are remodeled and preserved. To that end, they’ve created the 3D program that helps owner-occupants accomplish this. Let’s take a look at the 3D and what it means for builders and contractors when remodeling a Boston triple decker.

What is the 3D?

The 3D is a loan program that lets owners of triple deckers make repairs and upgrades as needed. It starts with an interest-free maximum $30,000 loan. Then, there are a few tools at the owner’s disposal:

  • The owner will have the final say among contractors, but the 3D program can help him or her choose a contractor.
  • Throughout the construction process, work quality is monitored through inspections.
  • A final inspection ensures the work quality is up to standards once the project is complete.

Of course, not all projects qualify for this assistance, so let’s look at which projects are and are not eligible.

Remodeling a Boston Triple Decker: What is Eligible?

When it comes to the interior, most projects that you can imagine are approved. This includes things like systems upgrades — heating, electrical upgrades, plumbing, weatherization, and more. The loan can also be used to make upgrades all around the building, including the expensive rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.

On the exterior, the loan can help pay for siding and paint, windows, roofing, masonry and porch repairs. Of course, not all approved projects are listed, so you’ll need to check with the Boston Home Center about your particular project.

There are a few things that are listed as ineligible for assistance. This includes purchasing new appliances, upgrades that would be considered luxury grade (granite countertops over laminate, for instance), landscaping, basement finishing, driveway repairs and more. View the full list of eligibility requirements by clicking here.

Who is Eligible for Funds?

If you’d like to advise a potential client that is remodeling a Boston triple decker about this program, then there are two main qualifications that you’ll need to tell them about: First, the owner must live on the property (as an owner-occupant).

Second, in order to qualify for assistance, the owner needs to have a total household income of below 120% of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s listed median income for the area. There is a caveat to this, which is that if the owner makes between 100% and 120% of the median income set forth by HUD, then they must provide equal matching funds of their own to match the loan given by the 3D program. At the 100% median income level and lower, there is no need for the owner to provide matching funds.

Remodeling Isn’t the Only Thing the 3D Program Offers

This program has a lot of other benefits besides the loan for renovations. There is also a membership option that gives discounts at local hardware stores plus free classes about repairing and maintaining these homes as well as how to be a landlord.

For potential homeowners, the 3D program has what is called 3D Advantage, which is a down payment assistance program that pays up to $20,000 of the new buyer’s down payment.

Because of this program, more and more people are remodeling Boston triple deckers, which is not only a great prospect for your business, but also an important way to preserve history.