Breaking Barriers to Homeownership: Bond Advantage Assistance
The Montana Board of Housing (MBOH) understands the financial challenges many aspiring homebuyers face when it comes to down payments and closing costs. MBOH collaborates with various entities, including cities, counties, non-profits, lenders, and employers, to offer assistance programs. However, these programs often have specific geographic limitations, leaving some areas without support. To bridge this gap, NeighborWorks Montana (NWMT) has stepped in with its Statewide Down Payment Assistance Second Mortgage Program.
NeighborWorks Montana operates a range of programs, each designed to empower applicants on their journey to homeownership. Among these initiatives is the HOME program, a lifeline that extends loans ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 (with potential increases to $40,000 in specific cases). The primary goal of the HOME program is to fill the financial void between the total funding required and the amount that primary mortgage lenders are willing to extend.
What sets the HOME program apart is its flexibility in terms of loan types. It provides amortizing loans, meaning monthly payments are required. However, what truly distinguishes this program is that it offers these loans with zero interest. Additionally, borrowers enjoy a unique repayment feature: they don’t need to start making payments until 15 years have passed or until they decide to sell or refinance the property.
Eligibility Requirements To access the assistance provided by the HOME program, applicants must meet specific criteria. Eligible participants include first-time homebuyers, single parents with dependent children in their household, or individuals residing in a household with a disabled member. Additionally, borrowers must complete a homebuyer education course that has received approval from a NeighborWorks Montana partner organization. They are required to contribute a minimum of $1,000 from their own funds towards the home purchase, and the property must serve as their primary residence. The HOME program caters exclusively to households with an income at or below 80% of the county median income, based on family size.
Income Limits 1 person household: $35,050 2 person household: $40,050 3 person household: $45,050 4 person household: $50,100 5 person household: $54,100 6 person household: $58,100 7 person household: $62,100 8 person household: $66,100
Borrowers interested in accessing NeighborWorks Montana’s assistance should first check the availability of other organizations partnered with MBOH in their area. The HOME funds are specifically designated for residents in regions not covered by similar programs. If potential homebuyers find that no other organization serves their location, they can connect with their lenders to explore how the HOME program can simplify the path to homeownership for them.