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Assistance available for home-buyers

HAMBURG — The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that funding is available for residents of Western New York who wish to purchase or repair single-family homes, through two Rural Development housing programs: the home repair program and the guaranteed and direct loan program.

The guaranteed loan program assists lenders in extending mortgages with affordable terms to low and moderate income home buyers. Rural development guarantees the loan, thereby reducing the lender’s risk. Guaranteed loans can be made on either a new or existing home, for up to 100 percent of the appraised value.

Under the direct loan program, applicants may apply directly to the USDA for loan assistance. No down payment is required; applicants may be eligible for payment assistance, which subsidizes the interest portion of the mortgage.

The interest rate on the home repair loans is 1 percent and the maximum term is 20 years. Applicants may obtain multiple loans, with a maximum outstanding loan amount at a given time of $20,000. Grants are available to very-low income homeowners age 62 or older who cannot afford a loan. Grants are limited to a lifetime assistance of $7,500 and must be used to remove health and safety hazards or make a home more handicap accessible.

For more information about these programs, contact Western Region Area Director Jim Walfrand at 585-343 9167 ext. 4 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/NY_Office_Locations.html.
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