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DC Council Introduces Bill to Expand First-Time Homebuyers Program

by Nena Perry-Brown

A $500,000 home for sale in DC.

The DC Council is making another, more ambitious attempt to amend one of the city's signature down payment assistance programs.

Yesterday, Councilmember Anita Bonds, along with eight co-sponsors, introduced the “Home Purchase Assistance Amendment Act of 2019”, a bill which would increase the maximum down payment assistance offered to purchase a home by the city's Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) from $80,000 to $100,000, and set the minimum assistance to $30,000.

Another major change in the new bill is that it would enable HPAP recipients to purchase homes which are in need of repair; existing rules require sellers to resolve any housing code violations before the funds are released.

"Both real estate professionals and sellers prefer to avoid sales to HPAP recipients due to the burden on the seller and processing times associated with the home repair requirements," a press release explains.

The amendments would provide access to an additional grant of up to $15,000 to make any home repairs HPAP requires, and would eliminate the ceiling for 203k renovation loans.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-council-introduces-more-ambitious-bill-to-expand-first-time-homebuyers-p/16210

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