Funding assistance available for current and first-time home buyers
Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Freeholder Heather Simmons announced today that funding opportunities are still available for current and prospective homeowners through its homebuyer assistance program and homeowner rehabilitation program.
Director Damminger said, "I have seen these programs make a huge difference in the lives of many of our residents. We have seen the success of parents able to buy a home for their family or an elderly couple that needed a new roof or their plumbing fixed and did not have the means to do so."
Simmons said, “These programs provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for residents who require the additional funds to purchase their first home. The programs also benefit homeowners whose primary residence is in need of repair but they lack the resources to make it happen. Our staff is knowledgeable and they can help with the application process.” Simmons is the Liaison to the Office of Housing and Community Development, which administers the program.
The First Time Homebuyer Assistance program provides zero interest deferred payment loans up to $10,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance. These loans are secured by a partially forgivable mortgage and deed restriction on the property. The program is intended as a means of stabilizing property values and overall quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the County. The major objective of the Homebuyer Assistance Program is to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-moderate income families.
To qualify, eligible properties must be located in one of the 24 municipalities of the County and must be purchased as a principal residence of the applicant. Applicants will also be required to participate in a homebuyer-counseling course and be able to provide 3% of the sales price toward the purchase. Eligibility is also based on a household's income, which includes all earned income as well as income from assets, benefits, child support and alimony. The income limits and other criteria can be viewed at the County’s website www.gloucestercountynj.gov under the Planning Department.
The Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program provides funding for the repair or rehabilitation of homes owned and occupied by low to moderate income homeowners. The program is designed to bring the eligible homeowner’s dwelling into compliance with applicable, locally adopted housing rehabilitation standards to reduce ongoing and future maintenance costs, promote energy efficiency, and to preserve decent affordable owner-occupied housing.
The County provides financial assistance through a zero interest deferred payment loan to income eligible owner-occupants to restore their home to a satisfactory, safe and sanitary condition in conformity with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Quality Standards.
As with the Homebuyer program, eligibility is strictly based on household income, family size and type of improvement. Eligible improvements include but are not limited to, roofing, HVAC systems, electrical, accessibility for handicapped persons, weatherization improvements. These loans are secured by a partially forgivable mortgage on the property. Payments are made directly to the contractors who are selected by the homeowner and approved by the Program upon completion of work. Contractors must complete an application and provide proof of active registration with the State of New Jersey as well as license certifications and proof of insurance to be accepted on the registry of contractors for the program. Applications for general contractors for the Home Rehabilitation Program are available on the County website.
Applications for either home program are available by visiting the County website http://www.gloucestercountynj.gov/depts/p/pw/planning/hcdev/default.asp
or directly at the Office of Housing and Community Development located at the County’s Clayton complex located at 1200 N. Delsea Drive, Clayton NJ. These programs are authorized through funding received by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Program.