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DC Will Launch Improvements to First-Time Homebuyer Programs in 2017

by Nena Perry-Brown

Yesterday, Mayor Bowser announced several changes to DC’s homebuyer programs which intend to make first-time purchases simpler and more affordable.

The amendments, which will be effective as of January 1st, include increasing the maximum loan amount for the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) from $50,000 to $80,000, relaxing the HPAP repayment terms for borrowers earning below 80 percent of area median income (AMI), and adding a second HPAP administrator to city staff. HPAP enables households earning up to 110 percent AMI to use down payment assistance to purchase homes in the District.

While the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) currently administers this and other homebuyer programs (namely the Employee Assistance Housing Program and Negotiated Employee Affordable Housing Program, which provide down payment assistance for eligible District government employees), the DC Housing Finance Agency and the Greater Washington Urban League will share oversight going forward.

“The new changes to these programs will give District residents more down payment assistance, loan them more money and give them more time to pay back their loan,” says DHCD director Polly Donaldson. “This will give them more purchasing power and put the keys in their hand faster.”

The program enhancements are part of Mayor Bowser’s larger strategic efforts toward increasing the supply and availability of affordable housing in the District.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_mayor_start_2017_w_improvements_of_first-time_hom/11983

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