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$1.2M may help 30+ families own homes

Single making $9.50 an hour could buy with just $999 upfront

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$1.2M may help 30+ families own homes

• 1819 Cork Oak Lane: Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1383 square feet • COST: Bank listing for $146,900 • CITY PROGRAM: $29,380 to qualified buyer plus closing costs • BUYER CON...

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POSTED February 26, 2009 5:20 a.m.

You can make $9.50 an hour as a single person and buy a three bedroom, two bathroom home in north Manteca listed at $99,900 for $538.85 a month with only $999 upfront.

That assumes about a third of your overall income being committed to a housing payment and having a debt ratio between 33 and 41 percent.

It is an example of how Manteca’s $1.2 million share of the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants could be put to helping lower income Manteca singles and families into homes they can own while eliminating foreclosure blight.

Community Development Director Mark Nelson is putting the finishing touches on guidelines for the City Council to consider while waiting for the Housing and Urban Development to forward the allocation set aside by Congress in October to help stem the foreclosure tide.

“One thing we’re going to ask the council to do is change it (the down payment assistance) to 20 percent and the closing costs,” Nelson said. “Prices have dropped significantly and we can get a lot more people into homes than with a $60,000 (assistance) limit.”

If there were 30 buyers who all were able to buy the median priced home in Manteca – it is now at $176,200 – it would take the entire $1.2 million. As of Monday, there were 130 homes available in Manteca under $176,200 that were foreclosures. Some of the homes, though, may not qualify for FHA financing due to various issues.

If the median priced home the city assisted low income residents to buy was capped at $150,000, there would be 35 families helped. There are 82 homes listed at $150,000 and under available in Manteca as of Monday that are foreclosures.

Nelson said various department heads have met – including Police Chief Dave Bricker – and have identified neighborhoods where foreclosures are causing significant crime and blight problems. Homes in those areas will be given top priority to be purchased through the program.

“We can’t force the buyers to necessarily buy the homes but we will do everything possible to improve those neighborhoods,” said Nelson.

The second priority for the funds will be redevelopment agency areas in Manteca. If there are funds left after that, they will open up foreclosures throughout Manteca to qualified buyers.

A single Manteca resident now renting who makes $9.50 an hour would have an annual income of $19,760. Without the city program, that worker would have to put down 3.5 percent of the purchase price to get a FHA loan on the $99,900 home - $3,469.50 instead of the $999 the city program would require – plus pick up closing costs. There are no closing costs that the buyer would have to cover under the city program that will be overseen by Visionary Housing.

To buy the home without the assistance that worker would also have to make $1.80 more an hour or $11.30.

All scenarios basically come up with monthly payments significantly below Manteca rents.

The program limits allows a single person to make up to $42,900 a year or $20.60 an hour. The limit for a two-person household is $49,000, a three-person household $55,200, a four-person household $61,300, a five-person household $66,200, a six-person household $71,100, a seven-person household $76,000, and an eight-person household $80,900.

The 20 percent assistance is essentially a zero-interest 45 -year loan with payment deferred for 45 years or until the time the home is sold.

Buyers must either be a current resident of Manteca or have at least one person whose name will appear on the property title employed at least three-quarters time within Manteca’s city limits.

Applicants cannot have owned a home within the last three years and must contribute one percent toward the down payment as well as have a debt ratio between 33 to 41 percent.

They also must complete a housing counseling class prior to the purchase of a home. They also must interview with program staff to determine program eligibility.

The city has been able to help 25 Manteca households buy homes so far this fiscal year with $1 million in down payment assistance made available through the redevelopment agency.

There are 60 people on a waiting list currently who have qualified for the program.

Information can be found at www.ci.manteca.ca.us, go to economic development, then to housing programs, and then to first-time homebuyer down payment assistance for the program summary and application.

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