Valley Agencies Help Low-Income Families Home Ownership

Discussions about creating affordable housing options for low-income Arizonans often revolve around building rental housing, but advocates say finding ways for low-income earners to own their homes can benefit people. their families for generations.

ABC15 spoke to three nonprofits that sell homes, provide financial assistance and housing advice to low-income households.

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is one of the few programs that opens homeownership to the lowest paid residents.

CEO Jason Barlow told ABC15 he can do it in large part because the whole process is handled in-house.

“We’re not just the builder of the house, we’re the originator of the mortgage with the bank, so we can control their payments from 20 to 40 years to stretch that payment,” Barlow said. “Another key thing is that we design the mortgage so that they don’t spend more than 30% of their gross monthly income on their mortgage payment.”

He said Habitat homes are funded with zero-interest loans and the down payment is the time borrowers spend volunteering with the organization.

“There is no down payment other than the 400 hours they spend on their own home or other homes somewhere in the network,” he said.

The program has income limits of 30-60% of the Zone Median Income (AMI) for Maricopa and Pinal counties. The MAI varies depending on household size, but in 2020 for a family of five it was around $ 78,750. Learn more about how to apply here.

Trellis is a non-profit developer that also provides housing advice and finds financing for workforce housing ownership. Labor force housing is loosely defined as households that are employed and earn 80 to 120% of the region’s median income.

“It’s about being intentional and delivering a product that will be accessible to low- and middle-income people,” said CEO Patricia Garcia Duarte.

One of the projects under construction is Trellis at Colter, located near Interstate 17 and Camelback Road. The market rate for townhouses in the 20-unit community starts around $ 289,000, but that amount is too expensive for Trellis buyers.

“The magic is in that down payment and in helping with closing costs,” Garcia Duarte said.

To make homes affordable, she said they found grants, low-cost loans, and other grants that made up the difference between the cost of the home at the market rate and the amount approved to borrow a mortgage.

“It can range from $ 15,000 to $ 90,000. It just depends on where the market is, ”she said.

Newtown Community Development Corporation (NCDC) renovates and builds homes for a range of lower income brackets. Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Brewer said much of their funding is specific to financing homes for households earning less than 80% MAI or $ 67,250 for a family of five.

“These are people who have full-time jobs or have multiple jobs, to create a full-time atmosphere,” Brewer said. “They qualify for a mortgage, but there is nothing available in the price range they can afford.”

For several years, NCDC has been remodeling and building apartments and single family homes around the valley, but their latest building project is a 13 cottage community called Tempe Micro Estates in Tempe.

“If we’re going to produce more affordable housing units and we’re going to be able to produce a volume of homeownership housing units, we’re going to have to look at other options besides the simple construction of a single dwelling. house built, ”Brewer told ABC15.

Regardless of the size of the home, NCDC is able to adjust the price of homes to make them affordable to buyers through federal, municipal and private donations and grants. Brewer said they also help families maintain the homes while they are in possession.

“We are the developer who never disappears. We stay with the owner throughout the process. And we make sure they’re healthy, successful owners, ”Brewer said.

NCDC’s goal is to keep the homes affordable so they hold them in a community trust and have the first right of refusal if the owner decides to sell and she said they always buy the homes back at a profit for the owner.

“This will always come back to us because we want to be the responsible entity to make sure the next owner is qualified and the right owner for this project,” she said.

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About Lillie Berry

Lillie Berry

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