Housing help available

$300,000 in grants available for down-payment assistance

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— The piggy bank just got bigger for would-be homeowners.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority announced this week that nearly $300,000 in grant funding has become available to provide down-payment assistance for low- or moderate-income families in Routt County.

Elizabeth Black, executive director of the housing authority said the grant money comes from two sources - $90,000 from the Colorado Division of Housing and $195,000 from the Colorado Mountain Housing Coalition.

Black said the Colorado Mountain Housing Coalition funds are for households earning less than 120 percent of Routt County's average median income.

For a family of one, the 120 percent amount is $61,080. For a family of two, it is $69,840. For a family of three, it's$78,480. For a family of four, it's $87,240. For a family of five, it's 120 percent of the county's average median income, $94,201.

Applicants for funding from the state division of housing must earn 80 percent or less of the county median income. The housing authority said families earning the following incomes are eligible for state housing assistance: a single person, $40,700; two people, $46,500; three people, $52,350; four people, $58,150; and five people, $62,800.

State housing assistance ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. The relevant property must be in Routt County. Mobile homes on leased lots are not eligible.

Black said both types of assistance funds are available by application only. The housing authority's Loan Committee will review all applications prior to recommending funds.

Applicants for assistance funds must meet the following criteria:

- First-time homebuyer (must not have owned a home in the last three years)

- Home must be primary residence, and may not be used as a rental

- Net worth of borrower may not exceed $250,000

- Must be a U.S. citizen or qualified resident alien

- Must have a minimum of one-year job history and good credit

- Maximum Debt ratios: 45/50 percent

- Must attend a YVHA Homebuyer Education Class before loan funding.

Both types of assistance funds have an application fee of at least $200. Funds must be repaid upon refinancing within a 10-year period or longer, depending on the type of assistance.

"We urge all of those who are contemplating down-payment assistance to first qualify with their mortgage lender for the full purchase price of their home," Black said. "The down-payment loan is an extra measure and additional assurance that the household can make the monthly housing payments."

For more information or to receive an application on either down-payment loan program, call the housing authority at 870-0167.

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