November 1, 2004
HUD REWARDS NEW HAMPSHIRE AUTHORITIES FOR CREATING 53 NEW HOMEOWNERS
NH Finance Housing Authority Has Most Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Closings in State
MANCHESTER, N.H. - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu today recognized two New Hampshire housing authorities for helping 54 local families become first-time homeowners using a HUD homeownership program.
Liu presented the New Hampshire Housing Finance Housing Authority (NHHFA) $54,000 to reward the agency for having the most home purchases in New Hampshire using HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership (HCVH) program. The housing authority has helped 49 families become new homeowners.
He also presented the Manchester Housing Authority $9,000 for helping four families become homeowners using this program. He made the presentations at the 6th Annual Statewide Housing Conference.
"These two housing authorities are exemplary in their implementation of a program that truly changes lives," said Liu who presented a check to Claire Monier, executive director of the NHHFA. "They have shown that with drive and perseverance the dream of homeownership can become a reality."
Liu presented the housing authorities the funding as an incentive to continue their 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 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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