Community and Business Development News

City and county housing officials are partnering with local real-estate agents, financial institutions and the Center for HomeOwnership to help families or individuals buy foreclosed houses for less than their appraised value.

Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, eligible buyers can receive a deferred forgivable loan of up to $20,000 for a down payment on a foreclosed home if the mortgage holder will sell the home for less than its appraised value. Additional assistance may be available for renovations.

The foreclosed home must be in a census tract which has incurred or is projected to incur a high rate of foreclosure. The program is open to first-time home buyers and those who have not owned a home for at least three years.

The loan would not have to be repaid if the buyer owns and lives in the house for at least 20 years. Eligible buyers must have a house under contract by July 18, 2010, to participate in the program.

Buyers must have a household income of no more than 120 percent of the median income for Forsyth County, which is $71,640 for a family of four. The income limit varies with family size.

A new Web site, www.MyFirstHomeWSFC.com, has been created to serve as a portal to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which Congress authorized in 2008 to assist communities with high rates of foreclosure. Winston-Salem and Forsyth County received $2.625 million for the program, which is being funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development through the N.C. Department of Commerce.

A special NSP Hotline, 722-0954, has been set up for those who do not have Web access.

To participate, prospective buyers must fill out a pre-application form. The form will be screened by the Center for HomeOwnership to determine eligibility. Prospective buyers also must complete a home-ownership course that the center sponsors.

Qualified buyers work with a real-estate agent to locate an eligible house. Once a buyer selects a specific house, the Center for HomeOwnership will help the buyer complete the paperwork to participate in the program. If the house is in Winston-Salem, the application will be sent to Housing/Neighborhood Development. If the house is outside the city, it will be sent to the Forsyth County Housing Department.

During 2007, 834 home owners in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County lost their homes to foreclosure. This number increased to 1,012 in 2008. Through the first seven months of 2009, there have been 452 foreclosures.

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County are the first local governments in North Carolina to be authorized by the N.C. Department of Commerce to begin implementing the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

MyFirstHomeWSFC.com includes information about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the pre-application form, a list of eligible census tracts, and a tool to determine if a particular house is in an eligible census tract. A list of participating real-estate agents and lenders is being compiled and will be added to the site.

MyFirstHomeWSFC also has links to other home-ownership programs administered by Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The Center for HomeOwnership is a non-profit agency that works to increase the rate of home ownership in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area by guiding potential homeowners through the home ownership process. It provides education, information on financing options and community housing programs, and works with clients to overcome obstacles to owning a home.

My First Home WSFC web site

 

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