First Time Homebuyer Assistance
Orange County Office of Community Development (OCD provides financial assistance for 1st Time Homebuyers’ down payment and closing cost. The source of assistance is an allocation of funds from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnership Act Program. The purpose of this Program is to provide financial assistance for down payment and closing cost to households that earn eighty percent (80%) or less of the Orange County Area Median Income based on household size.
Orange County has designated PathStone of Newburgh, Inc. as the primary provider of HOME Program down payment and closing cost assistance. PathStone of Newburgh, Inc. is a HUD-certified home buyer counseling agency that provides Home Buyer Counseling for person eligible to receive down payment and closing cost assistance. OCD must ensure that recipients of down payment and closing cost assistance have attended and successfully completed a 1st Time Homebuyer Counseling course.
PathStone, Inc. assists OCD in providing down payment and closing cost assistance by packaging and referring applicants that have completed their training and received firm commitments of mortgage loan finance from a primary mortgage lender. Pathstone Newburgh, Inc. can be reached by phone at 845-569-0770
Individuals and families that are purchasing a one-to-four-family residence, condominium unit, cooperative unit or combination of manufactured housing and lot and who have not owned a home during the past three-year period are eligible to receive assistance. The term first-time homebuyer also includes an individual who is a displaced homemaker or single parent.
Down payment and closing cost grants are typically the lesser of six-percent (6%) of the appraised value of the premises or $10,000. OCD will make a determination concerning the suitability of the proposed purchase and the eligibility of each household based upon information provided by PathStone of Newburgh, Inc. about household income and other sources of funds used to purchase the home.
Special notices will be provided to local community development housing organizations, public housing agencies, mortgage lending institutions, and neighborhood-based housing agencies to inform them of Orange County’s 1st Time Homebuyer Program. Residents and tenants of public and manufactured housing and other families assisted by public housing agencies are encouraged to apply for down payment and closing cost assistance.
Orange County, acting through the Office of Community Development (OCD), will ensure through contractual provisions that homebuyers receiving down payment and closing cost assistance meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- Form of Ownership: The homebuyer must obtain a fee simple title or a 99-year leasehold interest in a one- to four-unit dwelling, ownership in a condominium or cooperative unit, or an equivalent form of ownership approved by HUD.
- Eligible Property: Eligible properties are one- to four-family residences, condominium or cooperative units and manufactured homes.
- Property Value: Properties must have an initial purchase price/after rehab value that does not exceed ninety five percent (95%) of the Orange County Area Median Purchase Price. Upon application for down payment/closing cost assistance, an appraisal current to within sixty (60) days of closing date must be submitted for review by OCD.
- Property Standards: Properties purchased with the assistance of the HOME Program funds must be able to meet all state and local building codes. There must be provisions in homebuyer contract of sale that the buyer may arrange for pre-purchase inspection of the dwelling unit a qualified home inspection service and by an inspector from the Office of Community Development. Additionally, for housing constructed prior to 1978, there must be provisions in the homebuyer contract of sale enabling the purchaser to conduct a lead based paint risk assessment. A Property Inspection Report must be completed by OCD on behalf of the applicant. The buyer may not be obligated to go through with the purchase if the results of either inspection are unsatisfactory. OCD will monitor properties and households receiving HOME Program assistance during the ten (10) year regulatory Period of Affordability to ensure that property standards are met and maintained by the homeowners.
- Residency and Income Eligibility: The homebuyer must occupy the property as a principal residence for the ten (10) year term of the regulatory period. The home buyer’s household must qualify as moderate-income at eighty percent (80%) or less of the area median income, adjusted for household size, at the time of purchase. If more than six months elapses between income qualification and the date of purchase, the homebuyer's income must be re-verified. Homebuyer households must demonstrate financial ability to sustain ownership of the property. OCD will evaluate work history and income sources to ensure household can successfully maintain mortgage payments
- Recapture Provisions: Orange County must ensure that all or a portion of the HOME assistance to the homebuyers is recouped, if the housing does not continue to be the principal residence of the family for the duration of the ten (10) year regulatory period. 1st Time Homebuyers will be required to sign a Grant Enforcement Agreement stipulating the conditions of recapture.
- Program Timeline: Down payment and Closing Cost assistance will be made available until such time as a Fiscal Year’s allocation has been depleted and will be provided on a first-come-first-serve basis. OCD will enter into a Grant Agreement with an eligible applicant upon submission of a completed application, property contract of sale, evidence of a closing date, bank approval letter and HUD “Good Faith” estimate of closing cost (conditioned upon HUD assistance), Lead Paint Risk Assessment (where applicable for buildings constructed prior to 1978). OCD estimates three to four weeks process time for down payment and closing cost funds to be made available for property closing purposes.