PPotential homebuyers in Washington, DC can now get more than $200,000 to help them with their mortgage repayments.
When the new fiscal year begins on October 1, the maximum down payment DC residents can receive through the district’s Home Purchase Assistance Program will increase to $202,000, a massive increase from the $80,000 previously available under the program -Dollar. Beneficiaries can receive funds to help purchase single-family homes, condos, or cooperative housing in the neighborhood.
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“We know that home ownership is an important tool to fill racial wealth gaps in our city. We also know that for people without generational wealth, the prospect of becoming and staying homeowners can be daunting.”said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “But we have programs and resources in our city that can open doors that people may not have even thought possible. One way to keep more Washingtonians in DC is to make sure our neighbors know about and take advantage of these programs.”
The amount of each loan is based on income, household size, and the number of assets each applicant can use to purchase the property they want, according to the mayor’s office. In addition to the down payment grant, eligible residents may also apply for a graduation grant of up to $4,000.
The city government will also try to help current homeowners keep up with their mortgage and bill payments to protect them after the district’s foreclosure moratorium expires Sept. 30. To help with rising housing costs, Bowser announced the creation of the Homeowner Assistance Fund in June to help struggling homeowners.
When the moratorium expires late next month, foreclosure proceedings will be allowed to resume unless homeowners provide some outside form of financial assistance or have submitted an application for review. Through HAF, eligible residents can apply for grants to pay for expenses such as utilities, insurance, internet support and housing association fees, according to the mayor’s office.
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“When we say that the district not only helps people acquire homes, but helps people maintain homes, we mean it,” said Drew Hubbard, interim director of the Department of Housing and Community Development. “And to help you on your journey and as a demonstration of our commitment, we have a network of community-based organizations that can help you. So turn to us wherever you are on your journey to home ownership.”
The district’s budget for the next fiscal year includes a number of other investments in housing programs, including offering legal services to help heirs maintain their family property after the death of the principal owner, increasing funds to help low-income homeowners with the Repair their homes and invest funds in repairing homes against weathering and other damage.