Millions of U.S. Families Rely on These Housing Programs

Do you want housing assistance to make renting and homeownership more affordable and attainable? You can apply for loans and grants for first time home buyers or subsidies for renters, depending on your housing needs. The Section 8 housing program, for instance, pays a percentage of your rent or mortgage payment. 

If your home needs repairs you cannot afford, you may apply for renovation grants and loans with more favorable terms than private loans. You can also get help paying utility bills and other household expenses. Discover some helpful housing programs that can help pay for your rent, mortgage, bills, and home repairs.

How to Get Help Buying Your First Home
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First time home buyer programs can make homeownership more accessible if you have a fixed or limited income. First time home buyer grants are like free cash that you can use to pay a portion of your home costs. Most home grants are conditional, and you must typically meet the requirements and fulfill any terms of the program. 

Here are some common program requirements for housing grants: 

·      You may only be able to use the grant to purchase a home, including as a down payment

·      The home may need to be your primary residence

·      You must meet the lender’s requirements 

First-time buyer grants usually require applicants to be first-time buyers. However, several first time home buyer programs accept repeat buyers who have not owned or occupied their home within the prior three years. 

Federal, state, county, and city governments usually offer housing assistance grants and programs for first-time and subsequent homebuyers. Many local officials have grant information and application information online. Grant availability, awards, and requirements vary by program and area. 

The Federal US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides housing grants through the Rural Development (RD) Program that helps first-time and repeat buyers purchase or build a home in a rural area. You must meet the location, income, and other requirements to receive money or government-insured loans.

A forgivable mortgage is a grant if you fulfill the conditions, but it becomes a loan if you do not. The government may offer a forgivable mortgage to a first-time homeowner if:

  1. He or she lives in a rural area, 
  2. Has a community-beneficial profession, or 
  3. Lives in the home and makes consistent mortgage payments for at least five years.

The federal government has several newly introduced bills that could potentially grant thousands of dollars to first-time homebuyers nationwide. Here is some more information on the proposed housing bills:  

·      The First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021 – Would award a tax credit of up to $15,000 

·      The Uplifting First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021 – Would double the limit from $10,000 to $20,000 without getting penalties for early withdrawal from your 401K 

·      The Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2021 – Would award up to $25,000 to cover expenses like down payments, closing costs, and discount points

With or without housing grants, you will probably need to find a way to pay for the home. Buying a home may be the biggest expense in your lifetime, so you will likely need a mortgage to cover the remaining costs.

Home loans can help make you a homeowner if you meet the lender’s credit and financial requirements. Fortunately, government-backed loans have more lenient conditions and better terms. 

The next loan types could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars when it is time to close and through the life of your mortgage. 

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