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City’s Revamped First-time Homebuyer Down Payment Program a ‘Success’

Post Date:06/06/2019 9:21 AM

One year after revamping its homebuyer’s down payment and closing cost assistance program (DPA), the City’s Neighborhood Development Department recently helped with the purchase and closing of its 187th house. That’s about 170 more homes purchased in Greensboro in the last 12 months compared to the previous 12-months period through the original DPA program.

“To say our revamped program has been a success, is an understatement,” says Stan Wilson, director of the Neighborhood Development Department. “The numbers tell an amazing story and it’s particularly gratifying considering June is National Homeownership Month.”

Highlights

  •  All of the 187 homebuyers were first-time buyers.
  • 182 were moderate- and workforce-income buyers.
  • 112 of the 187 were households that included one or two parents with children.
  • 99 percent of the homebuyers were current residents of Greensboro.
  • Average amount of down payment assistance received has been $9,576.
  • Nine of the homes purchased were in City redevelopment areas, specifically Willow Oaks and Ole Asheboro. Six of those homes were purchased by households that included one or two parents with children.

Last spring, City Council approved raising the maximum income levels for the DPA program to include moderate-income households. Wilson says that has allowed more first-time homebuyers to apply and qualify for the program. DPA provides up to $10,000 in down payment assistance and closing costs as a five-year, forgivable loan at zero percent interest. If buyers remain in their home for five years, they do not have to repay the loan; it’s forgiven at 20 percent per year for each full year they live in the home.

Another change made last spring to DPA that has proved successful, Wilson says, is offering an additional $5,000 for purchases of homes in Greensboro’s redevelopment areas. The additional money is available for down payment assistance. Loan repayment rules are the same as for purchases in other parts of the city.

And the program isn't only for first-time homebuyers. Potential buyers who have not owned a home within the last three years may also apply.

Other DPA program eligibility requirements exist, such as the home purchased must be the buyer’s primary residence, a minimum cash investment of $500 must be made at closing, the DPA allotment must be less than 20 percent of the purchase price of the home, and the mortgage can only be a fixed-rate, 15- or 30-year mortgage.

Learn more on this Web page. The DPA program is one part of Neighborhood Development’s comprehensive homeownership services under the “Housing Connect GSO” banner.

The City managed the DPA program from June 1 to November 30, 2018. At that point, the City contracted with Housing Consultants Group (HCG) in Greensboro to provide counseling services to help more families become homeowners through Housing Connect GSO programs. HCG is a US Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling agency.

“It’s been so rewarding for our team at HCG to work with the City on helping first-time homebuyers be able to purchase a home,” says Sofia Crisp, HCG executive director. “Housing Connect GSO combined with the Housing Counseling Program, provides a seamless approach to working with buyers.”