CMHA lands $100k for innovative home-ownership program

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority has landed a $100,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank.  This American Dream Home-ownership Grant will go to support CMHA's Family Self-Sufficiency Program which works with qualified individuals to purchase their first home.

The grant works by providing a $10,000 down payment for minority home-buyers within CMHA's self-sufficiency program.  The program is designed to move people out of the cycle of poverty and into a more rewarding life that otherwise might have been out of reach without the down payment assistance.

"This grant helps the participants get a leg up on moving toward self-sufficiency," explained Stacia Buck, CMHA's Family Self-Sufficiency Manager.  "We want to help them become economically self-sufficient, and this program allows the participants to do just that."

CMHA officials say this is the first time they have received this grant, and that it is the largest grant received for the program.  To date, the program has assisted approximately 40 families move into homes; 75 percent of which utilized down payment assistance.

To qualify, participants must go through home-ownership training classes before and after they move into the home to make sure the new homeowners understand the costs involved.  Home-buyers must also be approved for a loan before they are eligible for down payment assistance through this program.

"Our participants tend to come from a long line of renters, and the first step toward home-ownership can often be quite daunting," said Buck.  "We're helping them to take that first step, and we're helping a family move into a better situation that they might otherwise not have been able to afford."

The $100,000 grant expires in 2012, but CMHA officials hope that demonstrated success through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program will help them earn this grant award again.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
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