AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM
The Affordable Homeownership Program provides grant monies to assist prospective home buyers with their housing purchase. Through funding received from the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, AHP concentrates on low/moderate income first-time home buyers, providing $10,000 for down payment, and up to @$3,500 for closing costs.Eligibility criteria include HUD determined maximum income limits (example: household of 4 – income cannot exceed $52,550); plus the standard prerequisites to mortgage approval: steady employment, enough of an income to carry mortgage payments, good credit history, some savings to contribute toward program participation.The closing costs paid by AHP is considered a free grant to the home buyer with no re-payment expected.
The $10,000 down payment results in a second mortgage held by CDA on the purchased property for a period of 10 years, requiring the grant be repaid in full should the buyer occupy the home less than 5 years. The payback obligation is reduced by 20% for each successive year the buyer occupies the home beyond 5 years. Only the principal amount is required to be repaid, as this is a 0 interest loan/grant. If the buyer lives in the home the full 10 year period, there is no payback obligation, the CDA’s second mortgage is discharged, and only the bank’s mortgage remains.
The transition from tenant to home owner can be an overwhelming and intimidating process for many people, as the responsibility that accompanies the privilege of property ownership is realized. To mitigate these apprehensions, as well as to help prospective buyers become better informed consumers, the Program Coordinator works closely with each participating family during the entire home purchase process: from the initial budget preparation, to the housing search, through mortgage approval, to the actual real estate closing, as well as follow-up. The objective at the process culmination is a positive experience for AHP participants as they realize the benefits of owning their own home.
The Affordable Homeownership Program has proven beneficial not only to program participants, but to the community at large, especially during times of relative, economic downturns. Since its inception in 1993, AHP has enabled @150 families to become proud home owners in the city of Fulton! Without program assistance, the dream of owning a home would not have been realized for these families.