Since 1990, CHRA has provided downpayment/closing cost grants or loans to over 1,000 low-income, first-time homebuyers. Downpayment/closing cost assistance programs have been funded by the Arizona Housing Trust Fund, the City of Phoenix, The Industrial Development Authority of the City of Phoenix, the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program, the Norwest Housing Foundation, the City of Glendale and the Town of Gilbert. Maximum grants or loans range from $1,500 to $40,000. Eligibility for the following downpayment programs include being a first-time homebuyer with household incomes below 80% area median income (exception: income levels differ for the Wells Fargo program). Through the use of grants and loans, CHRA has encouraged homeownership among groups who are traditionally under represented as homeowners including very low income households, single parent households, ethnic minority households and persons with disabilities.
CHRA offers various opportunities to low to moderate-income homes who need help with paying for their dream homes. Its Downpayment/ Closing Cost Assistance Programs include plans from foundations, charities and government agencies to assist low-income families in completing the down payment on homes in Arizona. So far, the closing cost program has given over $240,000 to 26 families to sort their home closing costs. CHRA’s Neighborhood stabilization program has also helped 101 households without an essay writer to handle their applications for closing cost loans. It also provides escrow services, counsels new and prospective homeowners in Arizona, and checks listed properties and those interested in them. There is also a counseling program where CHRA has educated close to 300 potential homeowners about the intricacies of owning property in Arizona and finding suitable homes. It also helped 12 households behind on their mortgages and has provided help worth $1,110,000 in total.
City of Phoenix American Dream Downpayment Initiative
The American Dream Downpayment Initiative program (ADDI) is a $10,000 downpayment and closing cost assistance program offered by the City of Phoenix Housing Department through a partnership with CHRA. Eligible first time buyers with total household incomes below 80% of area median income will receive a deferred payment $10,000 loan to be used towards down payment and closing costs. Homeownership counseling required by the ADDI program is furnished by CHRA. Homes purchased must be within Phoenix city limits and program participants must contribute a minimum of $1,000 from personal funds for downpayment or closing costs.
City of Glendale’s American Dream Downpayment Initiative
In 2005, CHRA was awarded the contract for pre-purchase counseling and administration of the City of Glendale’s ADDI program. Glendale is working to increase homeownership opportunities for low-income, first-time households and seeks to increase its owner-occupancy rate. Additionally, Glendale feels that providing financial incentives to homebuyers will also encourage reinvestment in Glendale’s neighborhoods. The program provides 0% interest loans to eligible households with total household incomes below 80% of area median income wishing to purchase a primary residence within Glendale’s city limits. Loans of up to $7,500 are available for downpayment assistance, prepaid expenses and reasonable closing costs. The loans are 100% repayable upon sale, refinancing or rental of the property.
Town of Gilbert Downpayment Assistance Program
In 2002, CHRA was awarded a contract by the Town of Gilbert to administer a pilot program designed to increase homeownership opportunities for low-income Gilbert residents. The program provides one-on-one pre-purchase counseling and 0% interest downpayment assistance loans of up to $40,000. The loans are 100% repayable upon sale, refinancing or rental of the property. The availability of the downpayment assistance loans makes a greater number of Gilbert homes available to low-income, first-time homebuyers.
The City of Phoenix Industrial Development Authoritys
Homeownership Incentive Program
CHRA provides a three-year 0% interest forgivable loan of up to $1,500 which can be used to pay a portion of downpayment or closing costs to purchase a home located in the City of Phoenix. Eligible families or individuals would have total household incomes below 80% of area median income. Program participants must complete prepurchase counseling with CHRA, contribute a minimum of $1,000 from personal funds towards downpayment or closing costs, have acceptable credit and qualify for a fixed-rate mortgage.
Wells Fargo Mortgage Assistance Program
A partnership between Wells Fargo Bank and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has created the Wells Fargo Mortgage Assistance Program which makes up to $10,000 in downpayment assistance available to low and moderate income home buyers participating in non-profit sponsored affordable housing programs within Maricopa County. Homebuyers earning:
- 50% or less than the area median income are eligible for up to $10,000 in assistance
- 51% 80% of area median income can qualify for up to $5,000
- 81% 100% of area median income may be eligible for up to $1,000
Program assistance is offered in the form of a deferred loan with a 5-year term. At the end of the loan term the full amount of the loan will be forgiven if the home has not been resold. If the home sells prior to the end of the term, the full amount of the deferred loan will become due and is repaid to the Program. CHRA determines program eligibility and provides the required prepurchase counseling. Eligible households must have acceptable credit and qualify for a fixed rate mortgage through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
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