City workers eligible for housing aid Home purchase in 3 areas brings financial benefits

Mailbag

May 17, 1998

Several weeks ago, I mentioned a new program to help Baltimore City employees purchase homes in three city neighborhoods. The city's "Tri-Neighborhood Program" provides financing benefits to full-time city employees to purchase homes in Ashburton, East Arlington and Calloway-Garrison.

Here are the benefits:

1. Up to a $5,000 grant to be applied toward closing costs, minor rehabilitation or to reduce the first-mortgage principal amount. The buyer signs a 10-year, no-interest note for the grant, which is reduced by 10 percent per year. If the owner sells or rents within the 10-year period, a pro-rata portion of the funds must be repaid.

2. A Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP) loan up to $5,000 for additional closing costs. This is a second mortgage with interest at 8 percent per year, repaid monthly over 10 years.

3. Below-market first-mortgage financing through Municipal Employees Credit Union. Based on an example provided by the city, an eligible employee could purchase a $75,000 home with a down payment of only $2,250. Monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest) would be $736.

To be eligible:

1. You must be a full-time city employee in good standing for six months prior to applying and on the date of settlement.

2. You must not have owned an interest in a principal residence within three years immediately preceding the date you applied for the program. This requirement may be waived for new hires under certain circumstances.

3. You must meet reasonable credit standards for MECU.

4. You must occupy the property as your principal residence.

5. Only one applicant in a household is eligible for assistance.

For more information and preliminary application forms, write: Baltimore City's Homeowners Institute, 417 E. Fayette St., Suite 1125, Baltimore, Md. 21202.

Pub Date: 5/17/98

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