What's at stake:

A new mortgage assistance program in Fresno would provide homebuyers interest-free loans of up to $100,000. Applications are open now.

Low-income homebuyers in Fresno will be able to get mortgage assistance of up to $100,000 thanks to a new loan program unveiled by Mayor Jerry Dyer.

The new mortgage assistance program will provide interest-free loans that don’t require monthly payments and would be forgiven after 15 years if a homebuyer lives in their home for that long. 

“These funds can be applied toward the purchase price of a home and/or the required down payment,” Dyer said at his State of the City address on March 24. 

The Fresno program, so far, has $971,000 from California’s Department of Housing and Community Development for the program. Applications are open immediately, city spokesperson Sontaya Rose said through email.

The city applied for another $1.5 million for the program on May 19 and is planning to apply for another $1.7 million later, Rose said. 

Prospective applicants will need to meet eligibility criteria, which includes:

  • Household income not exceeding 80% of the area median income (AMI)
  • Cannot have owned a home in the last three years
  • Complete a homebuyer education class

Applicants must have been prequalified for a home purchase mortgage loan from a participating lender and the home they are acquiring must be their principal place of residence. Applicants are also required to have a single-family household in order to be eligible, which excludes people who intend to live with their in-laws or relatives. 

Furthermore, eligible properties for this program exclude those with accessory or separate units detached from the main residence.

If prospective applicants previously got assistance from the city through its other homebuyer programs, including the Down Payment Assistance Program or the Lower Income Home Buyer Program, they would be ineligible. 

More details on the loan program are available on the City of Fresno’s website.People interested in acquiring more about the program are recommended to contact Fresno’s Housing Division at (559) 621-8300 or HCDD@fresno.gov.

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Omar Shaikh Rashad is the government accountability reporter for Fresnoland.

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