Friday, June 20, 2008

Could You Be a Hero? (For Home-Buying Purposes)

Besides rebuilding neighborhoods with new homeowners, some home buying programs aim to help particular groups of people move into target neighborhoods—communities that are having hard times, but that community leaders would like to see rebuilt. Who would they like to fill the neighborhoods with? Teachers, paramedics, cops, and other helping professionals, that’s who. Some areas in need of educators and other service professionals like the police or EMS technicians simply want to add affordable housing to the attractions they can offer.
A federal program, the Good Neighbors Next Door program at HUD was created to encourage police officer, firefighter, EMS and teacher home ownership in targeted areas. If people in these professions buy a HUD home in a targeted “revitalization area,” they can get a 50% discount off the price of the house. If you qualify as a member of one of these professions, and the house you choose is in a revitalization area, you commit to living in the house as your sole home for the next 36 months.
Ohio now offers a first-time home ownership program for firefighters, police officers, veterans, healthcare workers, paramedics, EMTs, teachers, and active military. It is the Hero's Program. Rates are one quarter percent lower than they are for Ohio's other first time home buyer program. This is a much more inclusive program—the homes are not only homes sold by a particular agency, and are not restricted to revitalization areas. For more information, see the website or call 1-888-362-6432.
Mississippi is responding to a shortage of teachers in rural areas by creating a Housing Assistance for Teachers program. Teachers who agree to teach in target areas of rural Mississippi can get downpayment assistance in purchasing a home.
Check your own state’s housing finance authority to find out if you are a “house buying hero” in the state where you live, or one you intend to move to.

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