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First-Time Homebuyers Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program

The Cumberland County Affordable Housing Trust Fund First-Time Homebuyers Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program provides up to $3,000 in assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers who purchase homes in Cumberland County and have a gross household income between 80% and 100% of the county’s median income. Up to $5,000 in assistance can be provided to qualified first-time homebuyers who purchase homes in Cumberland County and have a gross household income less than 80% of the county’s median income. See income qualifications below. This assistance is in the form of a five-year, no interest, forgivable loan. The assistance can be used toward the purchase price of the house and, or, closing costs.This program will match the participants’ savings 3-to-1. For every $1 of their savings the buyer uses to purchase a house, the county will provide $3 in grant assistance. The match can not exceed $3,000 for those households with a gross annual income between 80% and 100% of the county’s median income—$5,000 maximum for those households with a gross annual income below 80%. All of these funds, the buyer’s contribution and the county’s assistance, must be expended at the settlement and be properly reported on the settlement sheet (HUD 1). Any funds not needed at settlement will be returned to the Redevelopment Authority by the settlement agent. The buyer may not contribute more than $15,000 to the purchase of the home. This $15,000 cap includes seller assistance, gift funds and lender assistance. After settlement the buyer may not have assets greater than $30,000 excluding IRAs, 401(k)s and similar retirement accounts.A grant agreement will be executed and recorded on behalf of Cumberland County in the amount awarded. No interest is charged nor are any monthly payments required to be made by the borrower. This is a forgivable loan—1/60 of the loan amount will be forgiven each month. After five years of home ownership, the entire award is forgiven and the county’s lien will be removed. The buyer is responsible for the recording fee for the release of the grant. The County of Cumberland, c/o the Redevelopment Authority of Cumberland County, 114 N. Hanover St., Carlisle, PA 17013, must be listed as a second mortgagee on the insurance declaration page for the length of the forgivable loan.Applications will be accepted throughout the year. The number of applicants chosen each year to receive assistance will depend upon the annual Affordable Housing Trust Fund allocation to the Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program. Funds will be reserved on a first come, first served, basis. See application below.

Current Income Limits (subject to change)

First-Time Homebuyers Workshop

The Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), offers the Cumberland County First-Time Homebuyers Workshop. This workshop enables prospective buyers to meet the requirements for Cumberland County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program, Carlisle Housing Opportunities Corporation and Cumberland Non-Profit Housing Corporation’s homebuyer programs, PHFA loan products, the USDA Rural Development loan products and those offered by many other lenders.

The workshop is designed to help educate prospective first-time homebuyers. Participants will learn how to look for the right home, how to obtain and read a credit report, and how to apply for and qualify for a mortgage. The workshop also includes information on down payment and closing cost assistance programs and special financing, what happens at the loan closing and helpful tips about budgeting for home maintenance and repairs, saving energy and home safety. Instruction is provided by an experienced housing counselor and is supplemented by a presentation by a PHFA-approved lending partner and a video presentation that warns about predatory lending practices.

Completion of this or a similar pre-purchase workshop is often required for special home financing programs and down payment and closing cost assistance programs offered throughout southcentral Pennsylvania.

Workshops are free of charge, but enrollment is limited and reservations are required. Register by calling 717-249-0789 select Option 2 or toll-free at 1-866-683-5907 select Option 2, or contact Pat Mrkobrad at pmrkobrad@cchra.com.

See Workshop Schedule for a listing of coming workshops.

2014 Workshop Schedule

AHTF Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Application