Clearfield assistance program helps buyers

Aug 1 2011 - 10:40pm

CLEARFIELD -- The city is again stepping forward to help residents get into homes, thanks to an infusion of down-payment money.

The city has the Davis Community Housing Authority administer its down-payment assistance program. Recently, city officials decreased the amount available to each applicant from $5,000 to $3,000.

Interim city manager Adam Lenhard said with the small amount of money that has come back into the program, the city wanted to tighten guidelines and reach more people.

"We want to be able to help as many people as we can," he said. "We are going to be giving a smaller amount of money so we can help more people."

Community Development Block Grant coordinator Stacy Millgate said the city has $26,850 to help families. If everyone were to take the new allotment of $3,000, that would help eight households after paying the program management fees.

That is eight more than originally planned. City officials opted not to fund the down-payment program this fiscal year, Millgate said, partly the city got less money in its block grant. The city's grant decreased $40,000 this year, bringing it down to $209,829.

Money is available now because people didn't meet the program requirement of keeping the home at least seven years to be forgiven from repayment. Millgate said seven homeowners sold their homes before the seven years, meaning their down-payment assistance money is repaid. Funds started coming back in September 2009 with the most recent being in April.

This program helps first-time buyers who have not owned a home during the three-year period before the property purchase date, as well as displaced homemakers or single parents who have had a home only with a spouse. Total households helped to date, including these, is 79.

Millgate said it is good that more people will be able to be helped with the funds. However, people will not be able to receive any down-payment money until October.

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