Mar 10, 2023 - News

Polk County launches $30K, no-interest down payment program

Illustration of a welcome mat that is a one-hundred dollar bill.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A $30,000 no-interest down payment assistance program for low-income homebuyers is launching this spring in Polk County.

Why it matters: The loans generally won't have to be repaid until the owner sells the property, making home ownership within reach for more families, Stephanie Murphy, director of the Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC), tells Axios.

Driving the news: Polk County Supervisors allocated $11 million of federal pandemic funds to NFC this week, which will help it manage two new housing programs.

  • The down payment program launches around May 1, but people who think they qualify can start the process of getting ready to buy, Murphy says.
  • NFC, Home Inc., and the Polk County Financial Empowerment Center are among the nonprofits that can assist.

Meanwhile, the Polk County Large Renovation Program — the second new deferred loan initiative — will help lower income homeowners bridge financial gaps for major repair projects not covered by other loans or assistance.

  • The renovation program will likely launch in mid-April.
  • People can inquire for assistance with multiple existing home repair agencies that are partners in the program.

Of note: Details of both programs are still in the works but are intended to be perpetual, Murphy says.

  • The general eligibility is for families earning below 80% of the area median income, or roughly $79,000 for a family of four.

What they're saying: The programs are intended to promote housing security, Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly tells Axios.

  • They can also help improve mental health, another priority for the county. It's using portions of its $95 million pandemic allocations on the issue, she notes.
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