State housing authority rolls out loan programs

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 The Delaware State Housing Authority rolled out four new programs designed to increase access to homeownership. Now, whether a homebuyer is purchasing their first or next home, DSHA offers mortgage products that can make the dream of homeownership a reality. The four programs are:

  • Smart Start Home Loan: A first mortgage loan formally known as “DSHA unassisted.” Interest rates will be priced daily and will be at or below current market rates. Program available for conventional and government loans.
  • Home Sweet Home Program (Temporary): A zero-interest forgivable second loan of $12,000 to be used for a down payment and closing cost assistance for homebuyers purchasing a home with a maximum sales price of $285,000.00 or less. Each year the homeowner resides in the property as their primary residence, the loan balance will decrease by 10% up to year 10. The loan will be forgiven after 10 years with verification the homeowner has resided in the subject property as their primary residence
  • Delaware Diamonds Home Loan (Temporary): This is a zero-interest forgivable second loan of $15,000 to be used for down payment and closing cost assistance. This program will be eligible to current “essential workers” who live in the state of Delaware with an occupation in the following fields: education, medical, including first responders, retail such as grocery, general, and wholesale store employees, and veterans. Each year the homeowner resides in the subject property as their primary residence, the loan balance will decrease by 10% up to year 10. The loan will be forgiven after 10 years with verification the homeowner has resided in the subject property as their primary residence.
  • First State Home Loan Program – FKA Preferred Plus: This is a zero-interest 2nd loan. Formerly known as “Preferred Plus,” it will provide a 4% down payment and closing cost assistance loan based on the 1st mortgage final loan amount. The principal will be deferred until the following events: refinance, sales, transfer of title, and the property is no longer the borrower(s) primary residence (whichever comes first).

“The announcement of these programs is an important step in our efforts to provide all Delaware residents with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of homeownership,” said Gov. John Carney. “I want to thank the Delaware State Housing Authority for their dedication and leadership in this space and encourage Delaware families to look into these opportunities.”

“Homeownership is at the core of DSHA’s services. Our team is continuously formulating innovative and beneficial ways to help individuals access quality, affordable homes,” said Eugene R. Young, Jr., director of DSHA. “These four programs will have a lasting impact on families, communities, and the state as a whole.”

The Smart Start and First State Home Loan programs will be subsidized by revenues from DSHA’s primary homeownership loan programs. The Home Sweet Home Program and Delaware Diamonds Home Loan are being funded by a $5 million commitment from the additional $30 million supplement allocated by Governor Carney to DSHA.

Buyers participating in the program must meet eligibility requirements for DSHA’s homeownership loan programs, including income limits and credit score (620 minimum). Renters looking to build credit can apply for the Delaware Tenant Rent Reporting Pilot Program, which reports on-time rent payments to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and on-time utility payments to TransUnion.

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DSHA also offers financial counseling through HUD-approved housing counselors to help potential homebuyers improve their scores and reach homeownership.

In correlation with the launch of these new programs, DSHA is also adjusting the income levels for its homeownership programs to provide more opportunities for residents to purchase homes in Delaware. The new income limits can be found on DSHA’s homeownership website.

The programs are available statewide, and DSHA will be working with its participating lenders to serve homeowners. See the complete lender list here.

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