Home Improvement Program (HIP)

HIP Overview

The Hamilton County Home Improvement Program (HIP) is an initiative of the Hamilton County Commissioners and the Hamilton County Treasurer. The "HIP" loan allows homeowners in Hamilton County communities to borrow money to repair or remodel their homes at interest rates 3% below the lowest rate a bank would normally offer. Loans may be used for:

  • Bathrooms
  • Decks
  • Kitchen Remodeling
  • Plumbing
  • Ceilings & Walls
  • Garages
  • Landscaping
  • Room Additions
  • Central Air & Furnaces
  • Gutters & Roofs
  • Paint & Carpeting
  • Siding, Windows & Doors

    ... and much more!
Contact Information

Mark Boswell, Associate Planner
Hamilton County Department of Planning and Development
138 East Court Street, Room 1002
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone: (513) 946-4487
Fax: (513) 946-4475
Email: [email protected]


  • Loans at 3% below market rate, 5 year term - only one outstanding loan at any given time

  • All Hamilton County communities eligible

  • No Income Restrictions or limits (must be able to meet bank's credit requirements)

  • Loans capped at $50,000

  • For one-family, or two-family, and commercial properties valued up to $350,000 (based on Hamilton County Auditor's appraisal)

  • Owner-occupied dwellings

  • No property value limit on multi-family dwellings (three or more units)

  • Loans can be used for alteration, repair, maintenance or improvement

  • Can also be used for code violation compliance and property upgrades

How to Apply

Contact North Side Bank - (513) 542-7800 (ask for Jeremy, Tiffany, or Ciara). They will take the application for you.

North Side Bank will submit your application for approval by the County.

Click here for the application pages in PDF format  .

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply?
    Apply for a HIP loan by visiting a branch of the participating bank: North Side Bank.

  2. Is there an income maximum or minimum for the HIP loan?
    No, however, you must be able to meet the credit requirements of the bank.

  3. What other factors might affect my ability to be approved for the loan?
    If the HIP loan is for a 1 or 2 family home or for a commercial property, it must have an assessed value of less than $350,000. To determine your property's value, visit http://wedge3.hcauditor.org/  . In addition to the value limit, all property taxes must be current.

  4. What is the term of the HIP loan?
    HIP loans are five years in length.

  5. How are the proceeds of the loan distributed?
    All funds are generally distributed at the time of closing.

  6. Where can I get a HIP loan application?
    You can download the application by clicking on this link: hipapp.pdf  . You can also obtain an application by visiting a participating bank.

  7. How is the HIP loan structured?
    It is usually structured as a home equity loan, secured by a second mortgage on the property.

  8. I already have a second mortgage on my house. Can I still get a HIP loan?
    Most of the banks are unwilling to approve the loan if they cannot obtain a secondary lien on the property. However, you should discuss your options with a participating lender.

  9. Are there any closing costs associated with the HIP loan?

  10. What kinds of projects can I finance with a HIP loan?
    Most types of permanent repairs or improvements are allowable. However HIP funds may not be used for luxury projects (swimming pools, hot tubs, etc.) or for free standing appliances. Appliances that are permanently installed are permissible.

  11. What do I do after I've completed the work I financed with my HIP loan?
    Contact the HIP representative for your community. He or she will schedule an inspection to verify that all work has been completed. A list of the various community contacts will be mailed to you after your loan closes.