Help For the American Dream Of Homeownership

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has announced the award of $500,000 in Federal HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program funding that promises to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for some first-time homebuyers. The continuation of this long successful program is a part of an on-going commitment to help make the “American Dream” of home ownership a reality for first time homebuyers who wish to reside in Nassau County.

Manhasset residents who are first time homebuyers are eligible to take advantage of this program if they meet the criteria outlined.

County Executive Curran announced that the Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP), as the agent for Nassau County Office of Housing and Community Development, will now be accepting applications from first time homebuyers for down payment/closing cost assistance towards the purchase of a principal residence.

“This award is a wonderful step for Nassau County’s first-time home buyers to achieve the American Dream,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “The Nassau County Office of Housing and Community Development has been working closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Long Island Housing Partnership to ensure this funding came through and we are happy to see it come to fruition.”

 

Under provisions of a federally funded program, County Executive Laura Curran has set aside HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program Funds provided by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Nassau County will provide eligible first-time homebuyers with up to $25,000 towards down payment/closing costs towards the purchase of an eligible new or existing single-family home, provided that the applicant puts a minimum down payment of at least $5,000.  The applicant must also be able to satisfy the mortgage lender’s minimum down payment requirements and be able to secure a mortgage.  Homeowners are required to reside in the home for a minimum of 10 years or HUD will require a full repayment of the grant.

 

“The Nassau County Down payment Assistance Program is effective in helping first-time homebuyers with one of the most challenging aspects of the home purchase process – the down payment,” said LIHP President Peter Elkowitz . “This program also furthers economic development as it helps keep and attract our essential workforce.  County Executive Curran and her staff should be congratulated and commended for their commitment to this program. “

To be eligible, an applicant must be a first-time homeowner having not owned a home during the three years immediately prior to purchasing a residence with HOME assistance funds and must occupy the property as a principal residence.  In addition, their gross annual income must not exceed income limits as outlined in HUD guidelines below, taking overtime and assets into consideration. Applicants must attend a mortgage counseling session and be able to secure a mortgage.

 

Income Guidelines:

FamilySize                        Maximum Income

1                                       $         65,350

2                                       $       74,700

3                                       $       84,000

4                                       $       93,350

5                                       $     100,850

6                                       $     108,300

7                                       $     115,750

8 or more                         $     123,250

Eligible homes for purchase must be pre-existing or newly constructed residences located within the Nassau County boundaries. They must be single family dwellings, which include townhouses, condominiums, co-operative apartments and manufactured homes and be occupied as a principal residence.  The maximum Appraised Value cannot exceed $409,000.

An additional component of the Homebuyer Assistance Program is the Employer Assisted Housing Program. The purpose of the Nassau County Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP) is to assist County employers with recruiting and retaining a skilled and qualified workforce while at the same time helping Nassau County workers to purchase homes near their jobs.  County employers must register in the Program with the LIHP and pledge to assist current and/or future employees with a matching grant of at least $3,000 towards the purchase of a new or existing single-family home.

Applicants below 80% of median income are eligible to receive up to $12,000 in HOME assistance, along with the employer grant of $3,000.  Nassau County EAHP funds are essentially a zero-interest deferred loan.

 

Additionally, applicants may receive funding from New York State under the Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) Program.  Awarded AHC funds can be up to $14,000 in down payment assistance and $24,000 for repairs for the purchase of only an existing house. AHC funds can be used to assist households with incomes up to 120% of area median income.

 

During the past 20 years the county and the LIHP have worked together to assist more than 800 families to purchase their first home. Assisted homebuyers have been aided in fulfilling the American dream of homeownership under this successful program and have found homes all over the County from Baldwin & Bethpage to Wantagh & Westbury ¾ in 57 different communities.

 

To request an application please call the Long Island Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710 or visit its website at www.lihp.org to fill out a request form.  For more information, contact Norman Gersman at the Nassau County Office of Housing and Community Development at 516-572-2723.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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