Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust today announced the Chicago Home Buyer Assistance Program is now accepting applications from families and individuals looking to buy a home in Chicago or refinance an existing mortgage. The program helps make home ownership possible for working families and individuals by providing support for down payment and closing costs.
“The Home Buyer Assistance Program is another important tool in our toolkit for building stronger neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago. I am proud that lenders are now accepting applications and I encourage anyone who is interested to apply today,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By putting more families on the path to homeownership, we will help more communities thrive. So I look forward to watching this program grow and help to build a stronger economic foundation for the City of Chicago.”
The program currently has three approved lenders/servicers now accepting applications: Guaranteed Rate, American Financial Network and Home Trust Mortgage. These lenders now are accepting and processing applications. Guaranteed Rate was the first approved lender/servicer to make the program available to residents.
The program will assist a broad range of families and individuals that include middle- and low-income households looking to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. First-time home buyers must complete a home buyer education course when participating in the program. Depending on loan type, qualified home buyers can have an annual income limit of up to approximately $133,000.
Through the program, qualified buyers may receive a grant for up to 7 percent of the total loan amount. For example, for a loan amount of $250,000, a borrower could receive a grant of no more than $17,500 to cover down payment and closing costs. Qualified borrowers are required to contribute the lesser or $1,000 or 1 percent of home purchase price at the closing.
“Home ownership is a key component in investing in our 77 neighborhoods throughout our City. Homeowners are the foundation in every Chicago community that promote safe neighborhoods for families to live, play and work. I look forward to increasing the approved lenders list in the weeks
to come to ensure success of the home buyer assistance program," said City Treasurer Kurt Summers and Chairman of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust.
The City is providing up to $1 million to launch the Home Buyer Assistance Program, which will become self-sustaining over time. The program is administered by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, which works with the authorized lending institutions.
All buyers must occupy the home as their primary residence and must reside in the property for at least five years before selling or refinancing. If the home is sold or refinanced before that time, the homeowner will have to pay back a prorated amount of the grant. After five years of on-time mortgage payments, the grant is completely forgiven.