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For many prospective home buyers, finding the money for a downpayment is the largest obstacle in the path to homeownership. Many people who have no problems qualifying for a mortgage simply don’t have the necessary savings for their downpayment costs. The American Dream Downpayment Initiative is intended to increase the homeownership rate among low income and minority families, revitalize neighborhoods, and enable communities to increase their tax base. Each year, this program provides assistance to approximately 40,000 individuals.
These home grants are the result of legislation passed by President Bush on December 16, 2003. The American Dream Downpayment Initiative is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program. Grants are administered by state and local government agencies.
The American Dream Downpayment Initiative requires that grant recipients have an income that is less than 80 percent of the median income for their area. To be eligible for these home grants, you must be a first time home buyer planning to purchase single family housing. Displaced homemakers, single parents, and people who have not owned a home within the past three years may also be eligible to receive grant assistance. All grant recipients must be able to qualify for a mortgage loan underwritten by a participating affordable housing lender.
The American Dream Downpayment Initiative provides funds for downpayment and closing costs to eligible individuals. This includes items such as credit reports, fees for filing legal documents, private lender origination fees, fees for title evidence, private appraisal fees, and attorney’s fees. Assistance for necessary home repairs, such as the removal of lead based paint, is also available. These home grants may not exceed $10,000 or six percent of the purchase price of the home, whichever is the greater amount. Property being purchased with these home grants must pass all HUD inspection requirements.
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