Grand Forks axes homebuyer aid prorgam

Only five months after coming online, a Grand Forks city program aimed at easing the cost of home-buying has been given the ax.

The Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program offered assistance to homebuyers in the form of a loan of up to $10,000.

“It’s going to be a soft close,” Community Management Officer Meredith Richards said. “We still have some people in the pipeline.”

The process will continue for those who have started it but Richards said the program will not be accepting new applications.

Since its start in May, the program has yet to close a loan.

That means the $420,000 in federal grants designated for those loans has remained untouched.

When added to other grant money, the total balance of the city’s Home Investment Partnership Program funding is $804,000.

“The upshot is that we have $800,000 there, but it doesn’t really look like it’ll be going anywhere anytime soon,” Richards to the City Council’s finance committee on Oct. 14. “The money doesn’t do us any good unless we’re spending it on good projects.”

On Monday, the City Council voted to follow a recommendation to terminate the program and find “shovel-ready” projects where the money could be spent instead.

Continue reading the story here. An earlier version of this story appeared on this blog last week.

4 thoughts on “Grand Forks axes homebuyer aid prorgam

  1. Does the city of GF have any incentives for people to upgrade to a new home? I’m referring to people that build a new home, get a property tax break, their current home, possibly their starter home, now goes on the market for someone to purchase, which might be more affordable. I’m just wondering if there any incentives out there to encourage those that have the means to sell their current home and upgrade to a new home.

    • I don’t know offhand, but if you want I can pass that question along to the city and have it answered in my weekly City Scoop column. That way more than just blog readers are aware if one does.

      • That would be great! I think the current program didn’t work since there is a lack of affordable homes. It is difficult to build affordable housing, so I would think the city would try to encourage current homeowners to upgrade to newer homes by dangling a tax break in front of them for the first couple of years so they would then sell their current homes, which may be more affordable.

  2. This program is bull. If you want to make sure you are approved, pull all your savings. These programs punish the ones who save money in bank accounts and then deny you.

    No wonder hardly anyone was approved for the $10k.

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