First-time homebuyer’s program exhausts funding

houseforsaleLARGO—Because of high demand for down payments and closing cost assistance from first-time homebuyers, the Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince George’s County has suspended the My HOME buyer’s assistance program. 

The RDA suspended the program on January 28th because its funds were exhausted. Since 2009, the RDA has assisted 1,300 homebuyers purchase a home in Prince George’s county. In 2014 the RDA provided 267 loans to first-time homebuyers, generating $2.1 million in property, recordation and transfer taxes.

“My HOME provided hundreds of families the opportunity to begin building family wealth, as well as stabilizing county neighborhoods by promoting homeownership,” said Howard Ways, executive director of RDA.

"The My Home program has made the American dream of home ownership obtainable for so many moderate income families,” said Roslyn Clemens, the My HOME program manager.

Eric Brown, the director of housing and community development for Prince George’s County, said he considers the program a success, despite its suspension, because more people were looking to buy homes within the county.

“The program was suspended because we had more people requesting money for first time home buying than we had funds to take care of,” Brown said. “So the best thing to do was to suspend the program and let the ones that were in the pipeline work their way through. Then, in the interim, we will look at other ways to fund the program moving forward.”

Brown said the program’s demand ramped up more quickly than officials had anticipated, but public outreach into the minority communities and non-traditional areas around the county helped to increase the demand.

“We think that added to the volume,” Brown said. “And I think another reason is that we only had a finite pool of money to work with, and then the federal cuts basically didn’t help with the amount of money we had available.”

Brown said the county will look to restart the program in the future when more funding becomes available. In the meantime, the Redevelopment Authority is evaluating the program.

Interested homebuyers should consider applying for the Maryland Mortgage Triple Play program, Brown said. Applicants may receive up to $20,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance and could be eligible for a $10,000 grant if they purchase a property within 14 targeted zip codes within the county.


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