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Home ownership assistance programs 

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Equity Builder Program (EBP)

The Equity Builder Program (EBP) is a financial initiative designed to assist first-time homebuyers in achieving homeownership. Targeting households earning no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI), the program offers grants to cover down-payment, closing costs, and rehabilitation expenses for owner-occupied units. These grants are provided at the closing of mortgages.

Contact Us to Apply for the EBP

Eligibility and Documentation Requirements:

  • The applicant must be purchasing a home for the first time.
  • The income of all household members must not exceed 80% of the AMI for the specific location of the property.
  • A fully executed Purchase and Sales Agreement is required to demonstrate a commitment to a specific property.

Documentation needed includes a comprehensive disclosure form detailing all household income, which is reviewed by the financial institution to ensure compliance with Federal Housing Finance Agency regulations.

Repayment and Refinancing

EBP grants are forgivable after five years of residence in the purchased home. Should the homeowner decide to sell the property before five years, a pro-rated amount of the grant may need to be repaid if the total exceeds $2,500. This repayment is based on the amount of time the property was owned within the five-year period.

For those looking to refinance their home, the EBP grant can either be repaid or subordinated, depending on the homeowner’s preference and financial circumstances. Subordination involves legally altering the lien order to prioritize the primary mortgage, potentially avoiding repayment obligations before the five-year term concludes.

Housing Our Workforce (HOW)

The Housing Our Workforce (HOW) program, aims to aid homebuyers who earn between 80% and 120% of the area median income (AMI) by offering financial assistance for down payments and closing costs. This initiative is designed to bridge the gap for individuals who earn too much to qualify for traditional lower-income assistance programs but still find it challenging to afford homeownership in their communities.

Program Overview and Eligibility

The HOW program assists eligible borrowers at the time they close on mortgages. For the year 2024, the maximum grant amount is the lesser of 10% of the home's sales price or up to $25,000. These funds are intended to support the purchase of owner-occupied primary residences, not investment properties. Additionally, applicants must not currently own a primary residence or must agree to sell any current residence before purchasing a new one under this program.

Contact Us to Apply for the HOW

Financial Contributions and Limits

Homebuyers are required to contribute at least 1.5% of the purchase price from their own funds, which cannot be a gift or equity gift. This requirement ensures that buyers have a personal stake in the property. The program also enforces a cap on the amount each member financial institution can lend to ensure broad access and equitable distribution of funds.

Repayment and Forgiveness

HOW grants are forgivable after five years of owning and residing in the home. If the property is sold before this period elapses, the homeowner may need to repay a portion of the grant, calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on how long the property was owned. If the repayment amount is over $2,500, the exact figures will be determined by comparing the closing disclosures from the purchase and the sale.

Refinancing and Subordination

If a homeowner wishes to refinance their property, they have the option to either repay the remaining grant funds or request a subordination, which repositions the HOW grant behind the first mortgage in priority. This can often be the best option to avoid repayment if the five-year retention period has not yet expired.

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