70% are Unaware of What is Available
by NeighborWorks America.org
Washington, DC - Seventy percent of U.S. adults are unaware of down-payment assistance programs available for middle-income homebuyers in their community, according to findings from the second annual America at Home survey commissioned by NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit community development corporation based in Washington, DC.
According to Marietta Rodriguez, vice president of Homeownership Programs and Lending at NeighborWorks America:
"Down-payment assistance programs make home purchasing more accessible for first-time buyers. In addition, because many down-payment assistance programs require home-buyer education, these purchasers tend to be more successful in the long term. Research has shown pre-purchase counseling helps reduce mortgage default and equips homeowners with the information they need to budget for other expenses and maintain their property."
There are hundreds of millions of dollars available for down-payment assistance. NeighborWorks organizations provided 6,000 people with more than $100 million in such assistance last year, and expect to make even more available this year.
Any first-time homebuyer would benefit from working with their local NeighborWorks organization, as the staff in these housing nonprofits can determine which local and regional resources such as down payment assistance can be utilized in their prospective purchase. Down payment assistance is especially helpful for homebuyers who are unsure about affordability because of student loan debt.
NeighborWorks organizations play a critical role in helping people find resources like down payment assistance. NeighborWorks organizations provided 6,000 buyers with more than $100 million in down-payment assistance last year and expects to increase its assistance this year. In addition NeighborWorks networks with many local, state and federal organizations which offer down-payment assistance. For example, there are specialized programs for military vets through the Veterans Affairs loan program, for first-time buyers through the Federal Housing Administration, and for rural home buyers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For more than 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $22.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals. For more information go to InformationWorks America.