New initiative in New Haven, East Haven, West Haven to help homebuyers with down payment

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NEW HAVEN–Homeowners are getting a boost from local businesses and governments.

A new initiative from the towns of New Haven, West Haven and East Haven, as well as Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven will help those looking to own a home to get a down payment.

The HomeLIFT initiative provides a $15,000 grant towards a down payment for a house on qualified properties in the represented cities. Qualified properties include detached homes, townhouses, condominiums, 1-4 unit properties and planned unit development locations in the specific towns.The program is designed to revitalize the neighborhoods by helping homeowners afford to stay in the houses.

Residents are eligible for the grant if all individuals over the age of 18 planning  to live in the home make 120 percent or less of the New Haven area median income, which is determined by the number of people living in the home. You can find that information in this graph:

Credit: Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven

Credit: Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven

To be eligible you also must take a home buyer education workshop to learn how to finance and manage the financial responsibilities of a home. You also must plan to make this home your primary residents; however, you do not need to be a new homeowner to qualify, which is different than many other grant and loan programs.

For information on what documents you need to bring to the event, click here.

The $15,000 is a loan at first, but once you live in the home for five years it is fully forgivable.

In all, $4.75 million is going into the program, and Wells Fargo says it expects to hand out 219 grants.

There will be two launch events held at the OMNI New Haven hotel on Temple Street on Friday and Saturday August 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those who register are guaranteed a meeting to determine eligibility, but walk-ins are welcome. To register, click here.