June 14, 2012
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743
State housing agency: Four great ways to celebrate Homeownership Month and achieve American Dream
(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today used Governor Rick Perry’s designation of June as Homeownership Month in Texas to remind residents that it has not one but four different ways qualifying households may purchase a home of their own and secure the American Dream.
TDHCA Executive Director Tim Irvine at the same time also recognized a number of private lenders and loan officers in acknowledgment of the important role these partners play in helping increase housing choices and ownership opportunities for low to moderate income Texans.
“Symbolizing success, security and independence, homeownership is a major milestone on the path to the American Dream,” noted Governor Perry in his proclamation. “When achieved through education and responsible lending practices, homeownership offers benefits for both the homeowner and the neighborhood. At this time, I encourage Texans to learn more about financial management and to explore the numerous homeownership resources available.”
“In the spirit of the Governor’s proclamation, the Department offers a number of paths toward homeownership for those households who are prepared to take that important step,” Irvine noted. “In each case, these programs provide a safe, reliable source of funding to families who might otherwise resort to high-risk alternative lending products.”
The following four TDHCA programs help eligible low to moderate income Texans purchase a home. Each program features qualification requirements specific to its funding source and certain exceptions apply; however, assistance is not provided according to specific job classifications. Visit the “Homebuyer Assistance” section of the Department’s program overview Web page for details:
Texas First Time Homebuyer Program
The Texas First Time Homebuyer Program provides 30-year, fixed-interest rate mortgage loans at competitive rates for qualifying borrowers purchasing a home of their own. Loans are available through a statewide network of participating lenders and may feature down payment and closing cost assistance.
Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate Program
The Texas Mortgage Credit Certificate Program allows qualifying buyers to claim a tax credit on a portion of the mortgage interest paid annually, on a dollar for dollar basis against their federal tax liability, up to $2,000 per year. Credit certificates are available through a statewide network of participating lenders.
HOMEbuyer Assistance Program
The HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program awards funds for down payment and closing cost assistance primarily to rural cities, counties, and nonprofit organizations. These entities then provide financing to qualifying low income residents purchasing a home in the community served.
Texas Bootstrap Loan Program
The Texas Bootstrap Loan Program provides self-help funds to certified nonprofit organizations that finance qualifying low income households willing to build or rehabilitate their own home through “sweat equity.” Two-thirds of the funds must be allocated to specific census tracts with a median household income less than 75 percent of the median state household income, while the balance may be awarded statewide.
As previously noted, Executive Director Irvine used the occasion of Homeownership Month to announce Cornerstone Mortgage as TDHCA’s “2011-2012 Texas First Time Homebuyer Program Lender of the Year,” while DHI Mortgage and Premier Nationwide Lending will share the title of “2011-2012 Texas Mortgage Credit Lenders of the Year.” The three companies together closed a remarkable 839 loans that resulted in $105 million in mortgage production.
The Department also recognized Andy Woodside, of Cornerstone Mortgage’s Houston office, and Kim Lewis, of Premier Nationwide Lending’s Flower Mound office, as “2011-2012 Loan Officers of the Year.” Mr. Woodside closed 101 mortgage loans under the First Time Homebuyer Program while Ms. Lewis closed 151 under the Credit Certificate Program.
“It is my great pleasure to salute these high-performing mortgage companies, as well as these two dedicated individuals, for their contributions in helping more Texans of all income brackets reach their dream of becoming homeowners,” Irvine said in announcing the awards.
“TDHCA helped more than 2,450 households last year purchase a home through our two flagship homebuyer programs, the First Time Homebuyer and Mortgage Credit programs, an accomplishment that would not be possible if not for the commitment of our local lenders,” he concluded. “We look forward to a long and beneficial partnership with the lending community to help even more households purchase a home of their own in the coming year.”
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page.
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