Loan program to assist homebuyers countywide $680,000 to be available to low-income buyers

June 17, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A program to offer first-time homebuyers help with closing costs and down payments is going countywide.

County Executive John G. Gary is to announce tomorrow that $680,000 in no-interest loans will be available for low-income, first-time homebuyers through the county's Mortgage Assistance Program. The county has offered the program previously to people buying homes in Annapolis and Brooklyn Park, but now is offering the loans in other communities.

About 80 people will be able to receive help through the Mortgage Assistance Program, according to Kathleen M. Koch, executive director of Arundel Community Development Services Inc., the nonprofit group that runs the program.

Loans range from $7,000 to $10,000, depending on income. A family of two, for example, could earn no more than $35,600 to qualify for assistance.

Applicants must complete a homeownership counseling and education program also run by ACDS. Since 1995, people in 400 county households have completed the program, which includes seminars and counseling.

Buyers are required to repay the money only if they sell their homes. Some qualified buyers may be able to put the money toward the cost of the home, not just closing and down payment costs.

"One of the most difficult things for a person is to come up with the down payment and closing costs," Koch said. "It's one of the biggest hurdles for homeownership."

Officials made $200,000 available starting in December in Brooklyn Park. In Annapolis and surrounding communities, 30 people have received $430,000 in assistance since 1995. The program combines county funds with federal block grants.

"Homeownership strengthens neighborhoods and promotes community pride," Gary said in a written statement. "With these funds, over 80 families will be able to realize the dream of homeownership and hopefully become lifelong residents of Anne Arundel County."

Information: Arundel Community Development Services Inc., 410-222-7600.

Pub Date: 6/17/98

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