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Davis Journal

County launches Homeownership Assistance Program

Oct 13, 2023 01:24PM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—Housing prices in Davis County along with other areas have skyrocketed over the past few years making it almost impossible for low-to-moderate income families to get a home of their own. With that in mind, the Davis County Commission announced the creation of the new homeownership assistance program to help those families.

“Home prices have never been so high,” said Ryan Steinbeigle, Grants Administrator Davis County Community & Economic Development. “The program provides up to $50,000 to an income qualified homeowner to buy a home in Davis County.”

They can use it for any combination of principal reduction, interest rate buy down up to $10,000 or up to 50 percent of the required down payment, he said. “It’s whatever creates the lowest monthly payment. Unlike the state’s program you don’t have to be first time home buyers and it doesn’t have to be a new build.”

This loan can be used together with the state’s program, said Steinbeigle. “They allow you to stack with the state which is $20,000 and add the $50,000.”

The median home price in Davis County is $525,000, he said. “We’re not going to move the needle unless we do something drastic.”

It’s all federal money, said Steinbeigle. “There was a $1.8 million allocation of ARPA (American Rescue Plan) funds and a Community Development Block Grant of $200,000 for affordable housing. If all goes well we plan to set more aside on an annual basis for the program.”

If they sell the house they have to repay the loan at 1% compounded interest, he said. “In our program you can stay as long as you want. There are no monthly payments on the loan, you just have to pay the $50,000 back to the county when the home is sold.”

That money can go back into the program to help out other low income families, Steinbeigle said. “On a $400,000 home with $50,000 you would be borrowing $350,000 so you’ll pay the lender monthly payments on less money.”

It’s first come first qualified, he said. “To determine how much you get it’s 35% debt to income ratio. You don't want to spend more than 35% of your income on a house payment. We want to keep it affordable.”

In order to receive the loan, prospective buyers have to have a house under contract and a pre approval letter from a lender, said Steinbeigle. “We don’t want to tie up the money and then you don’t find a home. There are a lot of lenders who will pre approve if you are getting the county money.”

It’s for single residences or townhomes, said Steinbeigle. “It cannot be used for mobile homes, triplex or duplexes.”

The money for the program will be released in phases, he said. “That way we still have money we can help other people with. If we release it all now we can only help people who are in the market. Some might not be in the market yet so we need to be able to help those people too.”

The application portal goes live on Oct. 16 and applications must be submitted through the Neighborly online platform. Once the program is live, applicants will create an account on Neighborly and select “Davis Homeownership Program” to initiate their application. For more information go to [email protected].