Ridgewood Savings Bank is participating as a lender in the city-run HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program (HomeFirst) that offers up to $100,000 in down payment and closing costs to first-time homebuyers in New York City.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HomeFirst works with more than 20 local counseling agencies to assist first-time homebuyers in securing a home. First, these agencies help certify income to qualify and ensure consumers complete the mandatory Homebuyer Education classes. Then, lenders, like Ridgewood Savings Bank, help consumers with pre-qualified mortgages to purchase a one to four-family home, condominium or a cooperative in the city.
The program has expanded, doubling the amount of financial assistance available for first-time homebuyers to achieve the city’s key goal of providing low-income New Yorkers with more housing opportunities.
Since the program launched in 2004, HomeFirst has helped over 3,000 people become homeowners throughout the city.
“For too long, there’s been unequal access to homeownership, the largest wealth creator in this country,” said Vicki Been, deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “This critical expansion of HomeFirst will serve to make New Yorkers more economically secure, our neighborhoods more stable and a recovery for all of us more certain.”
Eligible applicants can earn up to 80% of the Area Meridian Income or $86,000 for a family of three. HomeFirst participants must complete a homebuyer education course, contribute savings to the purchase and live in their home for up to 15 years to receive the full benefits of loan forgiveness through the program.
On top of Ridgewood Savings Bank’s involvement in this program, earlier this year, the bank implemented Good Move Plus, an affordable mortgage product designed to make homeownership more accessible for families and individuals. Ridgewood Savings Bank also offers affordable State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) options.
“Ridgewood is very pleased to participate in HomeFirst and partner with counseling agencies to help qualified borrowers choose from our expansive line of mortgage products,” said Anthony J. Simeone, executive vice president and chief lending officer at Ridgewood Savings Bank.
For more information on the program, visit the HomeFirst eligibility site.