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Governor M. Jodi Rell, Connecticut Banking Department,
and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Announce the Return
of Urban Housing Assistance Program

Urban Rehabilitation Homeownership (UR Home) Program will increase
homeownership in Connecticut's urban areas.

March 3, 2006

Governor M. Jodi Rell, Connecticut Banking Commissioner John P. Burke and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) President - Executive Director, Gary King, today announced the rebirth of an urban mortgage program designed to increase homeownership in Connecticut’s urban areas. 

In July 2001, CHFA, together with the State of Connecticut, launched the Pilot UR Home Program as a two-year pilot program to help rehabilitate homes in the State’s targeted areas. This was a purchase/rehabilitation program with CHFA mortgage funding aimed at encouraging state, municipal, and private sector employees to live where they work, thereby increasing homeownership in our cities and reducing traffic on our highways.  In April 2003, however, bond funds from the State that were used for the rehabilitation portion of the loan program were exhausted, therefore ending the program.

“We must take every opportunity to increase homeownership in our urban areas,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell.  “This initiative is a tremendous use of legal settlement funds that will directly benefit working citizens looking to own their own homes.  I commend these state agencies for focusing on how to assist homeowners and for creatively restoring this program.”

The UR Home Program is returning thanks to a recent settlement agreement between the Department of Banking and the Ameriquest Corporation concerning violations made by the company of certain sections of the Connecticut General Statutes. As part of the agreement, Ameriquest will fund the Connecticut Housing Assistance Fund by contributing $1,000,000 initial seed money.  Ameriquest will later pay five (5) equal annual installments of $1,000,000 beginning on June 1, 2006 and ending on June 1, 2010. 

“I am extremely glad the UR Home Program will be revived as a result of this funding. We were able to take a negative situation, this company's violations, and make it into a positive one. The Connecticut Housing Assistance Fund will concentrate on our cities and help some of citizens most in need to purchase a home,” commented Commissioner Burke. “Homeownership at an affordable level is a major factor in developing stable and strong neighborhoods.  We hope this program can contribute to the ongoing efforts to revitalize our cities.”

In addition to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at ¼ % below the CHFA regular Homebuyer Program rate, purchasers of homes in the targeted cities of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Waterbury and Windham/Willimantic (census tract 8006),  are eligible for deferred loans of $20,000 for a single-family dwelling and $25,000 for a two-to-four unit dwelling for rehabilitation costs.  The dwellings must be owner-occupied and need a minimum of $5,000 of property improvements.  The UR Home loan is forgiven at twenty percent (20%) per year for a period of five (5) years.  There are no income limit requirements on the CHFA first mortgage.

State employees working in the targeted cities where the employee is purchasing a home are eligible.  Municipal employees are eligible if the municipality agrees to defer taxes on the improvements for a period of five (5) years on all eligible properties.  Private sector employees working for employers located in targeted cities are eligible if the employer agrees to provide an additional financial contribution ($250 to $2,500 depending on the number of employees) to each employee who purchases and rehabilitates a home under the UR Home Program.

“Owning your own home is the American Dream,” said Gary King.  “This program represents a great partnership of the federal, State, and municipal governments, and the private sectors are all working together to encourage homeowners in the urban areas of Connecticut where they work.”

A fact sheet about the Urban Rehabilitation Homeownership Program including eligibility requirements and target cities is attached.  The program is slated to begin on May 1, 2006.  Questions about the Urban Rehabilitation Homeownership Program should be directed to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority at (860) 571-4230 English or (860) 571-4352 Español.

* * *

Pilot Urban Rehabilitation Homeownership Program
"UR Home" Fact Sheet

Program Description:

  • UR Home Program to commence on May 1, 2006.
  • Limited funding will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Funding is available from the State of Connecticut and will be available for rehabilitation in conjunction with a CHFA 1st mortgage (see Allowable Improvements for rehabilitation on reverse side).
  • For eligible persons and families looking to purchase and occupy a home that needs repairs in the city where they work.
  • State of Connecticut funds are to be used for rehabilitation costs up to a maximum amount of $20,000 for single family homes and up to $25,000 for multifamily homes (2-4 units).
  • The funding from the State has a 0% interest rate, and these loans are forgiven at 20% a year over 5 years.
  • CHFA 1st mortgage interest rate ¼% below the regular CHFA interest rate at the time of loan reservation.
  • There are no income limits (for the CHFA first mortgage only).
  • Downpayment Assistance Program loan available at a 3% interest rate (income limits might apply).
  • There are sales price limits. Please refer to CHFA’s sales price limits listed in the CHFA Homebuyer Brochure on CHFA’s website at www.chfa.org.
  • Origination fee to participating lender is 1.5% for combined CHFA 1st mortgage, Downpayment Assistance Mortgage and UR Home Mortgage.
  • UR Home Lenders are:  McCue Mortgage Company (800) 382-0017; People’s Bank (800) 772-1090; Savings Institute Bank and Trust (860) 456-6594; Webster Bank (888) 681-7788.
  • The loans are insurable through FHA or the following private mortgage insurance companies:  AIG United Guaranty; MGIC; PMI; Genworth Financial; RMIC; and Radian Guaranty.
  • Loans are available in the six (6) eligible communities of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Waterbury, and Windham/Willimantic - (census tract 8006 only).

Eligible Homebuyers:

The homebuyer(s) must be working in and purchasing a home in one of the above-referenced communities and agree to live in the home for a period of at least five (5) years.  They must also fall into one of these categories:

  • State Employees working in a State agency office located in one of the communities listed above.
  • Municipal Employees working in one of the communities listed above.  Municipalities, by ordinance, may authorize not to tax improvements on all eligible properties for five years from the date such rehabilitation is completed. (Participating municipalities will be posted to CHFA’s website at the time of their participation.)
  • Private Sector Employees working for employers who are located in one of the above-referenced communities.  The employer must agree to participate in the program and agree to contribute funds to be used toward downpayment, or closing costs, for each of their employees who purchase and rehabilitate a home under this Program.  Employers’ contributions will range from $250 to $2,500 depending on the number of employees.

NOTE:  Please refer to the following for specific information:  UR Home Lender Fact Sheet; Homebuyer(s) Fact Sheet; Counseling Agency Fact Sheet; Contractors Fact Sheet; Private Sector Employer Fact Sheet.

Guidelines:

  • The estimated cost for improvements and repairs must be at a minimum of $5,000 up to $20,000 for a single family home and $25,000 for 2-4 units.
  • Eligible improvements are those that substantially protect or improve the basic livability of the home, such as health and safety repairs.
  • Expenditures for cosmetic or other purposes that do not directly enhance the livability of the home or are not integral to the home do not qualify. Such non-essential or luxury improvement items include area rugs, fencing, garages, major landscaping work, pools, hot tubs, granite or marble work, and other work to be done that would be viewed as cosmetic enhancements. Appliances are not an allowable improvement. (NOTE: CHFA reserves the right to reject any rehabilitation work deemed to be cosmetic or unnecessary.)

Examples of the eligible rehabilitation work include:

  • Elimination of health and safety hazards;
  • Structural alterations and repair of damage to the home, including chimneys, walls, roofs, ceilings and exterior sidings;
  • Installation or upgrades to fire sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, or fire doors;
  • Upgrades or energy efficiency improvements to electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems;
  • Lead and asbestos abatement;
  • Energy conservation improvements such as window replacement, insulation of doors, caulking and weather stripping;
  • Installation of handicapped facilities and/or access;
  • Installation or replacement of wells, septic tanks and hot water systems;
  • Replacement of stairs and porches;
  • Reasonable upgrades of kitchens and bathrooms (subject to CHFA approval);
  • Improvements must comply with Connecticut State and local codes and ordinances.
NOTE: A PDF Version of the UR Home Fact Sheet is also available: