New program makes goals of buying a house become reality
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - A new program, beginning June 10th, is aimed towards helping low income residents across Grand Junction with purchasing a house. Housing Resources of Western Colorado created the down payment assistance program with help from local non profit, Western Colorado Community Foundation. The city of Grand Junction also shelled out a $1 million grant from their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The executive director for housing resources, Emilee Powell says the homeownership rate for Grand Junction falls between 60-65%, but year by year that number decreases. For instance, Emilee says in order to buy a home in the city right now the median income needed would sit around $100 thousand a year. In 2019, that number was around $50 thousand.
“It’s been a huge jump and that’s why we felt that was so important to launch a program like this to help people close that gap,” said Powell.
Thus, the Home Purchase Assistance Program is born.
The program offers specialized loans, lowering the cost of a down payment and monthly payments. Housing resources offers a counseling education team that are certified to help home buyers walk the path to homeownership. Counselors will provide coaching for free to those that reach out. They can also help those to work on their credit and pay down debt.
There is an income requirement, depending largely on household size. Powell says the limits are surprisingly high. For an example, she says a family of four would need an income around $85 thousand a year to qualify. The $1 million grant from the City of Grand Junction will go towards the clients as a loan and a $25 thousand grant came from the Western Colorado Community Foundation from their dreaming forward grants.
Tedi Gillespie, the Community Outreach Director at the Western Colorado Community Foundation says, “WE wanted capacity building grants, something where we could help an organization launch a new program, like the purchase assistance program,”
Gillespie says they will support folks with contracting lawyers and technical assistance.
On the 10th, housing resources and the national non profit NeighborWorks will host a neighborhood clean up at the Grand Valley Apartment’s on Jay Lee street in Clifton. It’s a way for those who live there to remove trash and unwanted items. This will happen between 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. After that, the program supporters will man an official announcement of the DPA to all who are at the event.
The program hopes to expand in the future outside of Grand Junction, servicing Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties.
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