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Loan Program Targets Community Redevelopment Housing

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  If you’re thinking about purchasing a home in Escambia and the City of Pensacola, Uncle Sam may be able to help out if the home is in certain areas.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the HOME program provides five-year loans. For the City of Pensacola, it comes under the umbrella of the Housing Division. Program Manager Tracy Pickens says they have about $260,000 in HOME funding.

“The HOME funds are received on an annual basis,” said Pickens. “These were funds that were already in existence, and we created the HOME buying strategy.”

The loans are aimed at covering a down payment and closing costs up to $12,500. Applicants cannot exceed 80% of an area’s gross household median income. Plus, the residence in question must be new construction within a Community Redevelopment Area.

“Those are areas that have been designated within the county and city, that are areas trying to be brought back up, so we can bring up the neighborhoods with new construction,” said Pickens.

Other requirements include having sufficient income and credit to qualify for primary financing from a participating lender. Pickens says response has been brisk, with more than 100 calls. But she warns that if you purchase a house under the program, it’s a five-year commitment.

“They have to reside in the home for five years as their primary residence,” Pickens said. “And as long as they meet the commitment of living in the home, then our portion, the $12,500, if they were to receive that, would be forgiven.”

The funding is available first-come, first-served. And there’s one other requirement to secure a HOME program loan, and that’s going to one of two free, eight-hour HUD-certified homebuyer classes.

More information is available by calling the two testing firms prior to closing:

  • Community Enterprise Investments 595-6234
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services 434-0268

Or contact Tracy Pickens at (tpickens@cityofpensacola.com).

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.