By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council will consider creating a loan fund for low-income homeowners who need money for repairs. A bill introduced at council’s Thursday session would authorize a $40 million bond sale for the program.

The city offers grants for home repairs but council president Darrell Clarke says the income qualifications are very low.

“There are too many people that fall a dollar above that guideline and can’t get access,” Clarke said.

He says the loan fund will be more flexible.

“If we can keep people in their homes, if we can extend the life of these homes by providing much needed support for renovation, basic systems, we need to be able to do this,” Clarke said.

Cosponsor Cherelle Parker says sometimes simple repairs mean a home remains habitable or a homeowner doesn’t have to sell.

“Fix a retaining wall, get their bricks pointed, get the driveway repaired,” Parker said.

The bill directs the Redevelopment Authority to issue the bonds. Loans would be low-interest and available to landlords, as well as homeowners.