New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

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Program Increases Home Ownership

In order to give a “jolt” to the housing market Mayor Tim O’Brien has asked the Commission on Community and Neighborhood Development to approve a plan to help residents buy new homes.

“The home ownership program provides home ownerships loans in the form of down payment assistance in the community,” said O’Brien. “We have been under pressure from HUD to get money that is committed.”

O’Brien said in return for residents residing in New Britain for 15 years in the homes, this loan will pay for their down payment.

“We hope to be rolling it out soon,” said O’Brien. “In a bad economy in general and a real estate market that is stuck, it is a great thing to get people buying houses again.”

O’Brien said he believes the loans will create stable neighborhoods through long term ownership.

Of 31,226 homes only 48 percent are owner occupied.

The grants are part of a Grow New Britain Home Ownership Program and uses funds from the federal government.

“If we can get a bit of a jolt, it will get things moving again,” he said. “It’s a good program and our intention is to keep the program even after the short term program ends.”

O’Brien said homes that are owned by residents, rather than rented, are generally better kept.

“These people still need to be in a position to be able to pay their mortgages,” O’Brien said. “It is meant for people who are close to buying a home, but need a little extra incentive.”

O’Brien said the credit crunch has hurt the housing market and that this program will make it easier for banks to give these residents mortgages.

“We really need people to buy homes,” he added. “It makes sense to utilize funding that the federal government has made available to us.”

To qualify for the Grow New Britain Home Ownership Programs, applicants will have to meet HUD income and other guidelines. This is a temporary, first-come-first-serve program with limited funding. Applications will be accepted at local participating banks and credit unions, most likely starting Sept. 1.