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John Oliver Warns: Renovation Program May Cost You Your Home

PACE, which is on its way to states such as New York and Ohio, was introduced in 2008 by President Obama to soften the financial burden of upgrading one’s home.

John Oliver warned homeowners about the well-meaning yet dangerous PACE program last night. Via Deadline:

PACE financing, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, is a program used in several states that aids low-income families renovate their homes for energy efficiency improvements. PACE, which is on its way to states such as New York and Ohio, was introduced in 2008 by President Obama to soften the financial burden of upgrading one’s home.

[...] PACE financing works by covering all the upfront hard and soft costs of a home renovation. PACE costs are then repaid on the homeowner’s property tax bill over a period of up to 30 years. The logic is the energy cost savings over that period will eventually offset the tax increases. In a sense, the renovation pays for itself.

Oliver said though government program is well-intentioned, the likes of private companies have ruined its efforts, leading to people losing their homes. “When PACE loans go wrong, they go very wrong,” a serious Oliver intoned.

[...] Oliver discussed that big financial players have taken note of PACE’s problems. Financial lending giants Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae have stopped backing PACE-funded homes. When these homes accrue debts that can’t be paid, Oliver said that it’s tax collectors who pick up the debt and foreclose on homes.

Oliver ended the segment by saying, "Nobody in this country should be losing their home because of an air conditioner. They should be losing their home because of unexpected medical bills – like an American!”

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