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2nd chance for those who lost homes to foreclosure
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Fourteen families that have lost their homes to foreclosure will have the chance to become homeowners again.

The City of Manteca is teaming up with the non-profit Visionary Home Builders of California to offer an innovative program dubbed “Bounce Back to Ownership.”

Manteca has secured $746,000 in Federal Home Investment Partnership Act Funds. Visionary Home Builders has worked with Oak Valley Bank and Catholic Healthcare West to leverage that into enough for the Bounce Back program to buy 14 houses. The two entities are putting up 65 cents for every 35 cents Manteca does.

Visionary Homes will purchase the homes outright and then lease them back with the goal to sell them at the original price that the non-profit agency attainted them at five years down the road.

The homes will be renovated before they are leased to the 14 families. Unlike other programs, each family will be assigned a “housing coach” who stays with them after they complete classes on money management. In addition, the program has provisions that every month the family pays their rent on time during the five years, they will have $100 placed in a savings account.

That savings account will be used as the down payment at the end of five years to buy the home. If they make their payments between the first and fifth of each month they’d end up with $6,000 saved toward the down payment after five years.

“We will work constantly with the families,” said Carol Ornellas, Visionary Homes executive director. “We won’t leave them alone.”

She is referencing similar programs where the re-entry buyers take classes to buy a home and then aren’t mentored beyond that point. The result is a number of families fail to become homeowners and lose their homes again.

“Each family will be assigned a housing coach,” she added.

Another advantage the Visionary Homes program has over previous Manteca Redevelopment Agency assistance program is the fact they are buying the homes and then leasing them for eventual sale. In other programs the buyers have to get qualified through the city program as well as a conventional lender and then find a house. Usually they are beaten to the punch by more nimble cash buyers who are mostly investors.

In terms of buying the actual foreclosed properties, Visionary Homes will also have an adventage. They will have an inside track working with banks as soon as foreclosures become available.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton said if the program proves successful that the city could dedicate more funds through the Manteca Redevelopment Agency’s state-mandated 20 percent set aside managed for affordable housing.

A kissing cousin of the Manteca endeavor is being put in place in Stockton.

Those eligible for the lease/purchase program when it is rolled out in the coming months must either live or work in Manteca.