Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Time to Own: A State Program Offering Down Payment Assistance for New Homebuyers in Connecticut
Now accepting applications as of today, the program provides a new source of funds for down payment and closing costs for applicants applying to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s (CHFA) First-Time Homebuyer Program. It is being administered by CHFA on behalf of the Connecticut Department of Housing and is funded with $20 million that was allocated for homebuyer assistance by the State Bond Commission in December.
“We all know one of the greatest obstacles to homeownership is having a down payment and covering closing costs,” Governor Lamont said. “This program breaks new ground, offering homebuyers the opportunity to secure their first home with help of an innovative, forgivable loan program. It will bring the dream of homeownership to life for thousands of Connecticut residents.”
The Time to Own program is available to eligible applicants securing a CHFA first mortgage loan to purchase their first home. Applicants may also access CHFA’s existing down payment assistance program at the same time. The Time to Own loan is structured as a ten-year, 0% non-amortizing loan, with one-tenth of the principal amount forgiven on the anniversary of the loan closing each year until the loan is fully forgiven. The loan is based on several eligibility requirements, including the borrower’s financial needs, their ability to repay their mortgage obligations, and their eligibility under CHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer Program, which is open to new homebuyers or those who have not owned a home in the last three years. The program is open to any borrower who can demonstrate residency in Connecticut for the past three years.
“Governor Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly are to be commended for allocating funds that will allow thousands of Connecticut residents to secure their own home,” Connecticut Department of Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno said. “It represents a deep commitment by our state leaders to the ideal that the home is place of security, safety, and financial health for our residents and communities. I am thrilled for the Department of Housing to be a part of this landmark initiative.”
As a key component of the program, Time to Own provides added financial assistance to homeowners seeking to buy homes in higher resourced communities, where home prices are often out of reach for new homebuyers. These higher resourced communities, referred to as Higher Opportunity Areas in the Connecticut Opportunity Map, are evaluated based on school performance, access to job opportunities, and other community resources. If a property is in a high or very high opportunity area, the borrower may be eligible for up to $50,000 in assistance. For any other property, the loan amount may go up to $25,000.
“Time to Own puts greater purchasing power in the hands of prospective homebuyers,” Nandini Natarajan, CEO and executive director of CHFA, said. “The program not only arms them with the means to purchase their first home, but it also gives them greater choice about where they and their families will grow and thrive.”
Homebuyers can learn more about the Time to Own down payment assistance program by visiting www.chfa.org/TimeToOwn or calling CHFA’s homeownership hotline at 1-844-CT1-HOME (1-844-281-4663).