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Aid still available for first-time homebuyers

December 23, 2010

The City of Bishop first-time homebuyer assistance program is still taking applications. File photo

Grants are still available through the City of Bishop’s first-time homebuyer assistance program. The assistance comes in the form of loans that will act as a silent second, or a matching amount, for a mortgage.
The program started taking applications in April and still has money available.
In February, the city won a Community Development Block Grant for $400,000. Pam Hannerty of Mammoth Lakes Housing, Inc. is the lead person helping Bishop to win the grant. Because of years of successful administration of a first-time homebuyer assistance program in the Town of Mammoth, doling out more than $4 million, Mammoth Lakes Housing was the agency chosen to head Bishop’s program.
Basically, the way the program works, a potential homebuyer must first be approved for a loan for at least half the amount of a home, usually $100,000- $150,000. Then the city will match that amount.
The homebuyer will not have to start paying back the city’s loan until the first loan is paid off. The loan through the city will have a one-time three-percent interest rate.
As explained in the Mono County guide, “The Homebuyer Program provides this assistance in the form of deferred payment ‘silent’ second priority loans as ‘Gap’ financing toward the purchase price and closing costs of affordable housing units that will be occupied by the homebuyers.”
Other qualifications include:
• The house must be located within the city limits.
• Applicants must live and/or work within the geographic boundaries of Inyo County line to the north, to Klondike Lake to the south.
• The maximum application amount is $150,000; the maximum home price is $362,000.
• A “first-time homebuyer” is defined as an individual or individuals who have not owned a home during the three-year period before the purchase of another home.
For more information, go to www.mammothlakeshousing.com or call (760) 934-4740.

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