New Program Gives Lower-Income Families Pathway To Homeownership

Posted by Patrick Barnard on July 02, 2015 No Comments
Categories : Residential Mortgage

A new program launched by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), in partnership with banks and investors, now purchases and renovates single-family homes in low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods and sells them at affordable prices to LMI families, thus providing them with a pathway to homeownership.

NCRC's new Generating Real Opportunities for Work Through Housing (GROWTH) program purchases homes via its Housing Rehab Fund – which is funded through investors and financial institutions – then fixes them up for sale and, ultimately, revitalizes neighborhoods.

The program will initially launch in Wilmington, Del., with an aim of expanding it to 10 to 15 markets, NCRC says in a release.

‘GROWTH represents the perfect example of how community leaders, government and financial institutions can come together around a common agenda to have a positive impact in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods,’ says John Taylor, president and CEO of NCRC. ‘GROWTH will increase the opportunity for working-class Americans to have access to affordable housing. Without the commitment of the financial institutions that have invested in GROWTH, this would not have been possible.’

Discover, Synchrony, TD Bank and Bank of America are among those actively supporting the initiative. So far, these banks, plus some investors, have put up about $80 million for purchasing and renovating homes. The group says it hopes to purchase and renovate up to 4,000 single-family homes nationwide, which will be sold at affordable prices to LMI families.

Through the program, LMI families can also lease single-family homes and eventually purchase them under a lease-to-own agreement. About 30% of the homes purchased will be available on a lease-to-own basis, the nonprofit says.

GROWTH will also provide housing and financial capability counseling through the NCRC's Housing Counseling Network and other HUD-certified agencies.

In addition, construction jobs created through the renovations will be made available for local LMI residents.

‘This announcement represents another important investment in the quality affordable housing opportunities that are vital to revitalizing neighborhoods and creating economic opportunity for Delawareans,’ says Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, in the release. ‘I'm pleased to see the program will begin in Wilmington, where, through initiatives like the Downtown Development District and Neighborhood Building Blocks programs, we are focused on encouraging a wave of economic development. I thank everyone involved with NCRC for their tremendous commitment to affordable housing.’

‘With homeownership at a 20-year low, the time is right to find new ways to reinvigorate the American Dream of homeownership and wealth-building opportunities for families by providing sustainable, affordable mortgages,’ adds Ed Gorman, chief community development officer for NCRC and managing director of GROWTH.

GROWTH offers investors Community Reinvestment Act credit opportunities, a return on investment and mission-focused fund management that invests with greater frequency in LMI communities than traditional equity funds, according to NCRC.

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