First-time home buyers in CT can qualify for up to $50,000 under new program

Governor Ned Lamont on Wednesday announced a state partnership with Webster Bank that will provide down payment and closing cost assistance to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers who enroll in the purchase program. of a first Connecticut Housing Finance Authority home.

The “Time to Own” program, which launched last Monday, is administered by CHFA on behalf of the Connecticut Department of Housing and is funded by $20 million that has been allocated for home purchase assistance. a house by the State Bond Commission in December.

“I just want to say, on a personal note, ownership is really important,” Lamont said. “I want them [the community] be owners, so that they know that the community is invested in them and that they are invested in the community.

Seila Mosquera-Bruno, Commissioner of the Department of Housing, said rental costs in Hartford rose rapidly during the first quarter of 2022. On average, rental costs are 8% higher than in 2021. Still, the houses are sold at the asking price.

Nandini Natarajan, CEO and Executive Director of CHFA, said now is the time to buy a home for those who qualify.

“Some studies suggest it takes nine years for the average renter to save enough money to pay 20% down payment,” Natarajan said.

Natarajan said the program will provide some type of assistance to qualified homebuyers no matter where in the state they are.

“It’s about ensuring that no matter where people choose to put down roots in Connecticut, they have access to opportunities that will help them and their families thrive,” Natarajan said.

According to CHFA, “Time to Own” will cover up to 20% down payment and up to 5% closing costs. Ten percent of the principal balance will be canceled each year, on the anniversary date of loan closing, until the loan is fully canceled on the tenth anniversary.

John Ciulla, CEO and Chairman of Webster Bank, said Time to Own was a perfect fit for Webster’s $6.5 billion community investment program.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the program will create wealth among Connecticut families.

“One of the best ways to help families build wealth over time [and] escaping the intergenerational poverty trap is through home ownership,” Bronin said.

Senator Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, said the scheme would bring back the American dream of home ownership.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski said while owning a home is important, Democrats have made it difficult to buy basic necessities.

“With Biden-Lamont inflation, it’s costing the average family an extra $656 a month just to get by,” Stefanoski said. “We don’t need gimmicks and giveaways for election year anymore, we need real tax reform that makes Connecticut more affordable.”

During the press conference, Natarajan said that 14 applications had been submitted for the program. Mosquera-Bruno said she believes 500 to 1,000 people will benefit from “Time to Own”.

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