Down payment program helping families access home ownership

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Down payments and closing costs for homes can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For some families, it can take years to save that lump sum.

What do you want to know

  • The Louisville Metropolitan Government’s Office of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications for its Down Payment Assistance Program
  • The program helps cover the cost of down payments and home closing costs
  • Low to middle income families can apply for assistance
  • The program helped a woman achieve a lifelong goal

The Louisville Metropolitan Government’s Office of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications for its Installment Assistance Program that helps cover these costs for low-to-moderate income families.

Applicants must live in the house as their primary residence and the household must be at 80% of the area median income.

Tesa Wilson said there’s no place like home. “When I turn this key and walk in here, it means everything,” she said. Making a home-cooked meal has a whole new meaning after living with his family for months to save up to buy a house.

“It’s been a whole year and I’ve been eating out for quite a while now, but now I’m at home in my own kitchen – no,” she shared.

Wilson began his home buying journey with Louisville Metro’s Down Payment Assistance Program.

On closing day, after spending $100 on inspections and fees, she hit a snag: her student loans were in default.

“He turned down my offer, and I had to start all over again and that’s when it got a little hectic for me. It was a lot because I had to rebuild. I had to rebuild that money, Wilson explained.

Wilson caught up on her student loan payments, boosted her credit score by 200 points, and on the last day of the six-month program, she found the home she now calls home. This would not have been possible with the down payment assistance program.

“It helped me tremendously because at the end of the closing what I paid out of pocket was $78,” Wilson said.

A check from Louisville Metro covered his down payment and other closing costs.

“It was an amount of $32,600,” Wilson said. “That’s more than half of what I earn per year, so I mean, that would be it. I’m now 51, so I probably would have saved when I was 20, 18.

It’s a worry she hopes to end with her.

“I didn’t leave a home,” Wilson said. “My biggest thing would be to leave something for Reagan. Reagan is my only grandchild and I would like to leave him a home.

The program helps him break generational curses and build generational wealth.

Laura Grabowski, director of the Office of Housing and Community Development, said the program saved buyers an average of $29,000.

Program applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted. Funds can be applied toward the purchase of an existing or newly constructed home in Louisville. The program is not limited to first-time home buyers. The office anticipates that it will be accepting applications for a few weeks or even months.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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