Curran announces federal funds for first-time Nassau homeowners

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, center, with local officials after announcing a new fund for Nassau homeowners. (Courtesy of Karen Contino).

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Thursday that the county had received $500,000 in funds to help first-time buyers put a down payment on a home.

This award is a wonderful step for Nassau County’s first-time home buyers to achieve the American Dream,” she said in a statement.

The funding comes from the Federal HOME Investment Partnerships program, which is run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Homebuyers can submit an application to the Long Island Housing Partnership to secure a down payment or closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a principal residence.

Home buyers can receive up to $25,000 through the fund, provided they contribute at least $5,000 toward a down payment.

Applicants must also be able to pay the mortgage lender’s down payment and secure a mortgage. If the homeowner resides in the purchased residence for less than a decade, HUD will require a repayment of the grant.

Applicants must be a first-time homeowner who has not owned a home for three years prior.

Eligibility is also determined by family income. In the press release, guidelines were laid out for maximum income: a single person must make less than $65,350 annually, a couple less than $74,700, three people less than $84,000, four people less than $93,350, five people less than $100,850, six people less than $108,300, seven people less than $115,750, and families of eight or more less than $123,250.

The purchased home must be a single-family dwelling within Nassau County with an appraised value less than $409,000. Applicants can also apply for funding from the state through the Affordable Housing Corporation program, for which they could receive up to $14,000.

“[This program] is effective in helping first-time homebuyers with one of the most challenging aspects of the home purchase process – the down payment,” said LIHP President Peter Elkowitz in a statement. “This program also furthers economic development as it helps keep and attract our essential workforce.”

The county has received money from HUD for this purpose before and for the same amount (the $500,000 goes back to at least 2013). A spokesman said the county has gotten money from HUD each year for the past few years.

Curran campaigned on making housing more readily available, especially for young people, who she said were leaving Nassau for the city or elsewhere because homes were too expensive.

According to a report from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island released earlier this month, the median sales price for homes in June was $520,000 while the median price for pending sales was slightly higher at $525,000.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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