I'm on the other side - the customer that could not afford a new roof. But my roof was 33 years old, and many fascia boards rotted. Really needed to find a way to do it. I'm fine on the equity side, and financially could have done the home equity loan route. But... I have one room I tore down to studs/cement, still a work in progress. No financer would do the home equity without a full appraisal, and they all said that room would be a showstopper.
I heard about the www.heroprogram.com from one of the roofing companies, and started to see a few offering it as an option. I believe it's only in a few states so far. It worked for me. Interest rate is a bit high, although still lower than trying to go the peer-to-peer lending route, and the taxes get tacked on to property tax bill as another line item. So I plan to pay it off sooner rather than over 20 years. But it did work to get my roof done now.
From what I understand the loan/lien then supercedes the primary mortgage even as the first to be paid back in case of default. Lenders can't be liking that.
It's not a magic bullet, and could get some into trouble if they already are stretched on finances. Not being able to afford the yearly tax bills probably get many into trouble. But it worked for me, and the addition to the yearly taxes isn't a problem for me. Just saying it's something they need to consider carefully.
I should probably also mention, that because it was about the only way I could find to get the roof done, I then cut down my shortlist of potential roofers to only those working with the HERO program. Some of them did offer some other financing options, but I didn't look to see what the others were all about and/or if they'd need an appraisal also. HERO program did not require an appraisal, nor did it require a specific credit score. It seems based more on equity and payment history - and that worked out for me. And the program does require it be a cool roof (lighter color), or have additional insulation added to help make the roof more efficient.