Community Development Program: Helping people cover down payments to make it to home ownership

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville’s community development program specifically focuses on getting lower-income folks into home ownership.

The city’s Community Development Department can help with up to five-grand toward a down payment on certain houses.

Director Kenneth Benion explains to get started, “They would just need to go to family services, put in an initial application, and get scheduled for one of the classes.”

You take a class on what it means to own a home — how to budget, how to care for it.

Benion goes on, “You have to get a traditional mortgage, but we will work with you once you completed the class and work with the mortgage companies in order to tell you where you stand or what you need to do to clean up your credit up in order to get one of those houses.”

It gets you a lot house for the money though. The houses are built on subsidy to create value in neighborhoods that might struggle with home values otherwise. Right now they have homes in the Terry Heights area. Next they plan to move into the Lowe Mill area.

Benion says the houses are now selling around $70-thousand, though they started in the high $50-thousand range.

The Community Development Department helps to create fair housing options, but they also believe having home owners as opposed to renters increases the desire for people to take care of their space. That raises home values for everyone.

If you’re interested in the program, you can find more information here. You can call ahead or simply head into the office on the second floor of 120 Holmes Avenue in Huntsville.