FWHS Boosts Homeownership
Owning a home can enable families to build equity and a nest egg for the future. But disparities in homeownership gap are increasing. In fact, the African American ownership rate is lower today than in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.
HUD’s homeownership program aims to close the gap. Since Fort Worth Housing Solutions joined the program in 2004, 216 families with vouchers have purchased their first homes. In fact, 23 homes were purchased last year alone!
The homeownership program allows participants to use their vouchers to pay the mortgage for up to 15 years, as long as they qualify for assistance and adhere to the rules and regulations of the Housing Choice Voucher program.
To be eligible, a family must:
- Hold a Housing Choice Voucher for at least one year
- Work at least 30 hours per week with 12 months of continuous employment (unless elderly and/or disabled
- Earn at least $16,000 annually (unless elderly/disabled)
- Qualify as a first-time homebuyer and for mortgage financing
- Attend at least eight hours of homebuyer counseling from a HUD-certified agency
- Have at least $2,000 in the bank for appraisals, inspections and similar expenses
FWHS holds quarterly homeownership orientation sessions, and typically between 60 and 80 voucher-holders attend.