What is the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded, locally administered rental assistance program that helps low to moderate-income families, the elderly and the disabled purchase decent, safe housing in the private market. The participant is free to choose any housing type that meets the requirements of the program.
Who can receive Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership assistance?
The program assists participants of the Housing Choice Voucher Program. In addition, families must meet the following criteria:
- Participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program for at least a year.
- Be a first time home buyer or cooperative member
- *Demonstrate at least one year of continuous full time employment (minimal of 30hrs a week).
- **Meet minimal income requirements
- No HQS Violations in the past year
- No leasing violations in the last 3 years
- Can not owe money to HABC
- Has not defaulted on a mortgage debt incurred to purchase a property while participating in any PHA, or HCV Homeownership Program.
- Additional Public Housing Authority eligibility requirements may apply
- Must complete homeownership counseling
- Must obtain a mortgage from a Financial Institution
- Must contribute a minimal of 3% of sales price (1% from personal funds) toward the purchase.
How does the program work?
First, the family must submit a preliminary interest application along with supporting documentation. If the family is eligible to participate in the program the family will be invited to a Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Orientation. The family will be required to attend homeownership counseling and obtain a mortgage from a financial institution. The family selects a real estate agent to assist in locating a property to purchase. The property must pass both a HQS and a Home Inspection. The family will be responsible for paying the difference between the actual monthly mortgage payment charged by the lender and the amount subsidized by the program.
How long can a family receive assistance under this program?
There is no time limit for an elderly household or a disabled family. For all other families, there is a mandatory term limit of 15 years if the initial mortgage incurred to finance purchase of the home has a term that is 20 years or longer, and for all other cases the maximum term of homeownership assistance is 10 years.
*Employment requirement: One or more adults in the family who will own the home must be currently employed on a full-time basis for at least one year before commencement of homeownership assistance.
** Except in the case of disabled families, the qualified annual income of the adult family members who will own the home must not be less than the Federal minimum hourly wage multiplied by 2,000 hours.
For disabled families, the qualified annual income of the adult family members who will own the home must not be less than the monthly Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit for an individual living alone multiplied by 12. HABC maintain the right to establish a higher minimum income requirement for either or both types of families. Except in the case of an elderly or disabled family, welfare assistance is not counted in determining whether the family meets the minimum income requirement.