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'FirstHOME' program aids first time homebuyers

Lottery to determine applicants

Posted: September 14, 2009 12:52 p.m.
Updated: September 15, 2009 12:22 p.m.
 
The city of Santa Clarita is informing local residents about its first-time homebuyer program, called "FirstHOME."

Made possible via a grant from the state's Department of Housing and Community Development, the program is designed to assist low and moderate income families in purchasing their first home.

The program offers a low-interest, deferred-payment second mortgage to be used as a down payment on a home inside the city limits.

Because funding for FirstHOME is limited, the city will hold a lottery to offer eligible residents the opportunity to apply for the loan program. Informational meetings will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the city's Sports Complex Activities Center and Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. at City Hall's first floor Council Chambers.

At least one buyer from each household must attend one of the meetings in order to be eligible for the lottery. Applicants who have lived or worked inside city limits for at least the last 6 months will be given priority in the lottery.

"Home ownership as a key component of a stable and thriving community and the city's FirstHOME Program helps residents who might not be able to afford to purchase a home realize the dream of ownership," Mayor Frank Ferry said. "Because funds are limited and the program is expected to see a large number of prospective applicants, a lottery will be held to choose participants in a random and fair way."

To be eligible, applicants must be first-time homebuyers meeting prescribed income limits for their household size. A household of three, for example must earn a gross annual income at or below $57,100 and the limit for a household of five is $68,550.

In order to qualify for FirstHOME, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

• Not owned a home for the previous three years; or
• Owned a home while married, but currently separated or divorce with custody of children; or
• Displaced homemaker, unemployed for the past two years with custody of children.

Homes purchased through the program may be single family or condominiums. Mobile homes are not eligible to be purchased through the program.

FirstHOME loans may be used to purchase condominiums priced at up to $369,550 or single family homes priced at up to $555,750. The loan can not exceed 50% of the sale price of the home.

Additional limits on the number of bedrooms and total amount of the loan also apply.

The city's Sports Complex Activities Center is located at 20880 Centre Pointe Pkwy., Santa Clarita 91350. City Hall is located at 23920 Valencia Blvd., Valencia 91355.

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