By: Melissa Hebert
April 22, 2010
LORAIN -- People looking to buy their first home are getting some help from the Lorain County Community Action Agency.
Clients will open an Individual Development Account for their savings, which will be matched $2 for every $1 deposited. The maximum match is $2,000. Clients are allowed to save more if they are able to, said Diana Marrero-Pinto, director of housing services for LCCAA. There is no deadline on when the money can be spent.
The match is only given upon completing all of the program requirements, which include a series of financial education classes covering subjects such as repairing and building credit, homeownership and home-buying and budgeting.
Clients also must meet with a HUD-certified counselor before buying a house to develop and maintain an asset development plan including goals, budget and a timeline for completion. Clients will also meet with the counselor after buying a house to review signed mortgage papers and other financial issues.
"One of the biggest challenges with any first-time homebuyer is the fear of the unknown," said Marrero-Pinto. "By providing counseling and education at every stage of the process, we can help alleviate that fear because people will have information."
KeyBank and Dollar Bank are providing the IDA services.
Applications currently are being accepted. Participants must meet income guidelines, which can be no more than
65 percent of HUD low-moderate income guidelines. For more information, call (440) 204-3155.