New programs help ‘heroes’ buy their first home
Teachers, healthcare professionals and law enforcement are among 50 professions to get help buying their first home under a new program announced by Governor Ron DeSantis. The program also aims to help active and retired veterans enter the housing market for the first time.
Administered by Florida Housing and Finance Corp. (Florida Housing), the Florida Hometown Heroes housing program will use $100 million from the state budget to expand the state’s existing housing programs to reach essential workers and military veterans. Income-qualified first-time homebuyers can receive down payment and closing cost assistance for primary residences in their hometown.
To qualify for this program, homebuyers must contact a participating loan officer, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, and meet their county’s income threshold. . Eligible borrowers will receive up to 5% of the first mortgage amount up to a maximum of $25,000, as a down payment and assistance with closing costs in the form of a 30-year deferred second mortgage without 0% damping.
Marilyn Pearson-Adams, broker/owner of Century 21 Alliance Realty in Spring Hill, said while it’s too early to tell how many Hernando County residents will be helped by the program, it will provide significant assistance as the housing market changes here.
“With home prices escalating, as well as rising interest rates, this program will help provide the down payment assistance and/or closing costs buyers need to enter the market. housing,” she said.
Pearson-Adams said that based on Hernando County MLS numbers from June 1 through December 31, 2021, 810 received conventional loans to buy homes while 227 received Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans and 137 were Veterans Administration (VA) loan buyers.
In Hernando County, the 2022 Hometown Heroes US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FHA loan limit is $420,680 and the conventional and VA loan limit is $647,200. Hometown Heroes’ 2022 income limit for Hernando County is $123,500.
Homeownership options are critical to the stability of Florida communities, including those in Hernando County, according to Pearson-Adams.
“Providing ways to help the American dream of homeownership become a reality for those who are essential to the health and safety of our society is important for stability, or health and safety, could say, of our communities as a whole,” she said.
Funds for Local Heroes 2022 will be available on June 1.
Visit www.floridahousing.org/hometownheroes for more information.