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Homebuyers can get forgivable loan from Maricopa County program

Maricopa County expects to help up to 83 homebuyers through a new assistance program. The county has earmarked $500,000 in federal funds to help lower-income applicants cover down payments and other costs.

Human Services Director Jacqueline Edwards said qualified homebuyers will receive a forgivable 7-year loan.

“There’s no payments that are being made in that 7-year period of this loan, it just reflects as a lien on their title," Edwards said. "And after that 7-year period, it gets released, and whatever equity that they’ve accrued in their home would be there.”

Applicants must meet credit and underwriting guidelines and have a household income below 80% of the area median. For a household of four people, that’s no more than $74,000. 

“The intention of this program is not for someone to go into a home and just flip it, so that 7-year period really allows for that equity to be created in that home and about the correct time period for someone before they’re typically going to refinance or move out of a home,” Edwards said.

The county is partnering with the Industrial Development Authority of Maricopa County through its “Home in Five” program. Loan amounts will vary based on eligible household finance. 

Highlights provided by Maricopa County

  • The project was an agreement between the IDA and Maricopa County to jointly fund down payments for hopeful homebuyers, with a cost share of 50/50.
  • The project assumed an average of 4% down payment assistance on an average purchase price of $300,000, which is $12,000.
  • Since the IDA and Maricopa County are funding the project at 50% each, so that makes the county's contribution 2%, or $6,000.
  • The $500,000 is projected to assist at least 83 homebuyers (83 x $6,000 = $498,000).
  • Each homebuyer helped through this agreement between the IDA and Maricopa County is expected to receive $12,000 in total on a $300,000 home purchase.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.