Down payment help for first-time C.O. homebuyers
Funds are now available to help qualified homebuyers in Redmond, LaPine and Bend, through the two-year-old Neighborhood Stabilization Program, according to Cyndy Cook, executive director of Housing Works, which administers the grants in Redmond and La Pine. In Bend, the city’s Affordable Housing Division administers the funds.
“The assistance program applies federal stimulus money to home purchases in areas hardest hit by housing foreclosures,” said Cook, “and families with household incomes under $75,750 may qualify.” Through a competitive application process, Redmond and La Pine were awarded $1.5 million, and Bend received $600,000 from Oregon Housing and Community Services, the state’s affordable housing finance agency distributing the stimulus funds.
The program requires homebuyers to occupy the property as their principal residence in exchange for a no-interest, second-mortgage, down-payment assistance loan that does not have to be repaid until the homeowner no longer lives in the home, transfers the title, or refinances the first mortgage loan.
Patrick and Andi of Redmond purchased a home for their family in Redmond, working with Housing Works and the assistance program. After many years of renting, they found the community that they wanted to call home. They initially passed over the home they ended up buying because it needed carpeting, painting and cleaning – all things that the stabilization program helps to finance. In the end, they used the program for their 20 percent down payment, closing costs and repairs.
“It is wonderful to be in our own home,” Patrick said. “Our neighborhood is very well kept and feels safe for my family.”
“We have hard-working people who have completed homebuyer classes in order to prepare for homeownership, and this down-payment assistance is a dream come true,” said Cook. It has enabled 12 families including Patrick’s to buy homes so far, and another 26 households are likely to be assisted with the remaining funds.
The program also helps organizations to purchase foreclosed properties for use as affordable housing. To date, this funding has resulted in the purchase of nine affordable rental units to serve low-income households.
For more information, visit www.ohcs.oregon.gov, or call Housing Works at 541-323-7411. To find out about funds available in Bend, call 541-693-2123.
Housing Works is the leading affordable housing provider in Central Oregon, serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. It provides housing services to thousands of low-income families as they work to move above the poverty line. Its mission is “Fostering Dignity through Housing.”