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Down Payment Assistance Programs Lead to Homeownership for First-Time Home Buyers

Efforts by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) to enhance home purchasing opportunities for first-time home buyers have yielded approximately $8.2 million in allocations of state and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding – with more on the way. At their October 24 meeting, the FCRHA approved just over $1 million in FCRHA funds to be applied to a new pilot program to assist first-time home buyers in the purchase of a home and thereby enhance self-sufficiency, asset growth and neighborhood stability. The new pilot program will provide up to $20,000 per household – with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income – to reduce the first trust mortgage amount on the purchase of a home. Loans will be available to participants in the Fairfax County First-Time Homebuyers Program in the form of an interest-free deferred second deed of trust. It is estimated that approximately 50 FCRHA Down Payment Assistance Loans will be able to be provided in a two-year period once the pilot program is launched. Since July 2018, down payment assistance programs approved by the FCRHA have assisted 26 first time homebuyers in purchasing a home in Fairfax County, with more still pending closing. Funding has come from a variety of sources – a total of $8 million in set-aside funding from the Community Homeownership Revitalization Program financed by the Virginia Housing Development Authority; and another $200,000 in CDBG funds. Monies allocated are subject to specific funding requirements and rules depending on their source; however, all are dedicated towards providing down payment assistance for low- and moderate-income First-Time Homebuyers in Fairfax County.

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