The Details: Homebuyer assistance program

After I received dozens of calls and emails about a new homebuyer assistance program recently created by the city of Grand Forks’ Urban Development Department, one thing became clear: Grand Forks residents would like some financial help getting into homes.

The program, which will have a starting budget of $420,000, was given the final thumbs up by City Council tonight. It will provide eligible homebuyers with up to $10,000 for half of their down payment and any closing costs.

The $420,000 was provided to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which means the city needs to follow HUD’s rules when it comes to dispersing the money, which resulted in some limits not previously mentioned in my first story on the program.

Quick things to note:

  • This program is for newly constructed homes (you’re its first occupant) or old homes valued at less than $200,160.
  • The assistance comes in the form of a no-interest, deferred loan that is due when the homeowner refinances the first mortgage, sells the home or ceases to occupy it as a primary residence.
  • This is not a grant or forgivable loan. When one of the three aforementioned things happen, you have to pay up no matter how long you’ve owned the home.
  • There are income limits and other requirements you will need to meet. Check the program’s description draft below if you want to know more.
  • Only homes within the city limits are eligible.
  • The property must meet Housing Quality Standards (inspection required prior to closing).

A draft of the program’s outline is available below with some notes and links to other site with more information about guidelines or requirements mentioned in the program description:

Homebuyers Assistance Program DRAFT

You can view the whole staff report with both versions of the program description here.

Interested in applying? Check out the application from the city’s now defunct American Dream Program to see what type of information you may need to provide when you fill out an application for the future program.


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