ROCHESTER, N.Y. (1/29/15)--Family First FCU, Rochester, N.Y., with $140 million in assets, has implemented a grant program to help first-time homebuyers who often struggle to save enough for a down payment and closing costs.
The program is funded through a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
The grant comes in the form of matching systematic deposits. For every dollar saved by the borrower, Family First will deposit another $4 provided through the FHLB grant. Homebuyers do need to be approved against eligibility requirements and agree to a five-year lien on the mortgage to take part.
"It is not all about the matching of funds though," said Steve DeVries, Family First mortgage manager. "There is a second component of equal importance that comes in the form of education to help prepare a first-time homebuyer for this."
Family First partners with homebuying counseling agencies for the second part of the program. "They are our partners and are very important to the success of the program," DeVries said. Those organizations include The Housing Council and the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester.
As participants are building their savings, they are also taking part in workshops to learn how to build sustainable budgets, manage their credit and pay off old debt.
While the process takes at least 10 months to complete, participants have said it was well worth the time because they learned so much and the process was well managed. In the end, it gives many a path to homeownership they might not have otherwise been able to reach.