$16,000 Incentive Available to First-Time Homebuyers and Military Veterans to Purchase Homes in Six Counties
TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) today announced the launch of the New Jersey HomeSeeker Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program, which provides a $16,000 interest-free forgivable loan as an incentive to qualified homebuyers to purchase their primary residence in one of six New Jersey counties: Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Passaic, and Union. Funded through federal Hardest Hit Funds (HHF), HomeSeeker will assist in the stabilization of neighborhoods by helping families purchase homes in counties that experienced the negative effects of the financial crisis.
The HomeSeeker DPA Program offers first-time homebuyers and military veterans looking to purchase a home in Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Passaic and Union counties $16,000 in assistance to use toward down payment or closing costs. The assistance is in the form of a zero-percent interest rate second mortgage loan, and is only repayable should the homeowner sell, refinance, transfer or cease to occupy the property within five years of the date of the HomeSeeker DPA loan. There are no monthly payments on this second mortgage.
“The goal of HomeSeeker is to encourage homeownership in housing markets that have been affected by foreclosures to strengthen demand in those areas, and stabilize the housing market,” said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman, Chairman of the HMFA Board.
To participate in the program, eligible homebuyers must use the HMFA’s Homeward Bound Homebuyer Mortgage Program for the first mortgage, have a credit score of 620 or higher, have a household income that does not exceed 140 percent of the area median income for the specific county in which they are buying, and must complete HUD-approved housing counseling prior to the loan closing. Approximately 1,000 buyers will be assisted.
“The HomeSeeker Program will play an integral role in communities recovering from economic setbacks by helping people purchase homes and re-invest in hard hit neighborhoods,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “This program is designed to assist with stabilization efforts in recovering neighborhoods, but it also gives a helpful financial boost to individuals and families who are ready to buy their first home and invest in the American Dream.”
To learn more, consumers should go to www.theroadhomenj.com to find a participating lender or call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE.
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency was formed in 1984 when the Mortgage Finance Agency (created in 1967) and the Housing Finance Agency (created in 1970) were joined. The merger created a stronger, unified advocate for housing production, financing and improvement throughout the State of New Jersey. A financially self-supporting affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs since 1967, HMFA has helped more than 115,000 homebuyers purchase homes since its inception. Learn more at www.njhousing.gov.