April 15, 2013 — In 16 years, Community Housing Innovations (CHI) has provided over $11 million in down payment assistance grants to over 450 first time homebuyers with incomes up to 80% of the Area Median Income. Today, however, thanks to an award of $640,000 from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation, the nonprofit agency is expanding its First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program on Long Island to households up to 90% of AMI, which is currently $96,320 for a family of four. The move to assist higher-income households is part of an ongoing effort by the organization to increase workforce housing options and to recognize an underserved market — namely, first-time homebuyers making too much money to be considered low-income, but who are still unable to afford the expensive housing market in Long Island.
The CHI Homebuyer Assistance Program offers grants of up to $25,000 each for households at or below 90% of AMI, with the actual amount based on the need of the applicant. Each grant will include a mortgage with a recapture obligation balance that will decline to zero after 10 years. To qualify, the property must be within Nassau or Suffolk County and may be a house, co-op or condo. Reflecting the state’s commitment to improve existing housing, at least 51% of the value of the grant must be applied to renovation work to restore the home and implement energy efficiency initiatives.
In order to be eligible for the grants, prospective homebuyers must attend a first-time homebuyer orientation seminar and complete an application documenting that their overall gross household income does not exceed the maximum income guidelines. The 2012 maximum income for Long Island is $67,469 for an individual; $77,056 for a two-person family; $86,733 for three-person family; and $96,320 for a four-person family, etc. The homebuyer must be able to contribute at least 3% of the purchase price into the transaction. Orientations are scheduled Thursday, April 25th, 2013 and Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. Anyone interested in obtaining a grant must go to CHI’s website at www.chigrants.org and register for an orientation before applying.
“Nassau and Suffolk Counties have a critical need for affordable and workforce housing,” stated Alexander Roberts, Executive Director of Community Housing Innovations. “In addition to assisting low- and moderate-income families, which have been the cornerstone of our down payment assistance program, with a somewhat higher income limit, CHI can also help two-income families who currently exceed most thresholds for assistance.”
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As its mission statement says, “Community Housing Innovations, Inc. provides the housing and human services that enable low and moderate income families and individuals to achieve the greatest social and economic independence at the lowest cost to society.” Since its founding in 1991, Community Housing Innovations, Inc. (CHI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, has provided housing and human services to thousands of homeless and low income families and individuals. The agency is skilled in the development of many different types of housing with community acceptance and support. Community Housing Innovations, Inc. has developed 25 projects and houses over 800 households per night in Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. CHI is a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency.