October 21, 2004
LORAIN METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY NAMED BEST IN OHIO
Housing Authority Has the Most Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Closings in State
LORAIN, OHIO - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu today presented the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority $39,000 in funding to recognize the agency for having the most home purchases using a HUD homeownership program in Ohio. The housing authority has helped 34 families become new homeowners through HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership (HCVH) program.
"The Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority is exemplary in its implementation of a program of that truly changes lives," said Liu who presented a check to housing authority Executive Director Homer Virden. "It has shown families with drive and perseverance the dream of homeownership can become a reality."
Liu and Virden also presented a housewarming gift to one of the new homeowners. (Ms.) Freddie Townsend has been in her house on Surf Avenue for one year.
Liu presented the housing agency the funding as an incentive to continue its good work with the HCVH program. To encourage housing authorities that participate in this program, each is provided a $5,000 bonus for participation and $1,000 per home closing in their region. This financial incentive from HUD will be used for administrative costs incurred by the program and to continue to promote homeownership to other residents.
Since rolling out the HCVH program nationally in 2001, the program has helped more than 2,200 low-income families who were renters become homeowners. Today there are more than 350 public housing authorities administering the program.
The HCVH program is a component of the Housing Choice Voucher program, formerly known as Section 8. It is designed to promote and support first-time homebuyers. Under this initiative, PHAs make monthly homeownership assistance payments to help first-time homeowners with monthly expenses, instead of making monthly payments on behalf of families to assist with rent. Monthly expenses include the principal and interest on the mortgage debt, real estate taxes and insurance, and the PHA established allowances for utilities, routine maintenance, and major repairs and replacements.
Like the conventional Section 8 program, homeowners pay 30 percent of their income toward their monthly mortgage payment. The voucher covers the remainder of the monthly mortgage. Homeowners receive in mortgage subsidy the same amount they would get in rental subsidy. To qualify, the voucher holders must have sufficient savings to cover at least 1 percent of the housing cost as down payment and closing costs. Under the program's guidelines, applicants must be employed full-time for at least a year and have an annual household income of at least $10,300.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
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