Wilmington City Council approves a Down-payment and Settlement Assistance Program
The Wilmington First Start Home Ownership Down Payment and Settlement Assistance Program, a new program to help Wilmington home buyers and promote more homeownership in the city is set to start in the summer. This program will help homeowners with an Area Median Income at or below 80% of the HUD median income which is at $75,600.00 right now for a family of four. Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki signed the legislation into law on February 4 and it will go into effect on July 1, 2022. The funds for the program will consist of grant funds, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds, and capital budget funds.
“This program will give you up to $15,000.00 toward a down payment settlement. Most people realize that the most difficult thing to come up with when you want to purchase a home is a down payment settlement. So this will help first-time home buyers and people who are on the verge and really don’t have the money as a down payment.” says Wilmington City Councilwoman Linda Gray.
During their regular city council meeting on Thursday, February 3, 2022, Council voted 11-yes (1st District Council Member Linda Gray, 2nd District Council Member Shané Darby, 3rd District Council Member Zanthia Oliver, 4th District Council Member Michelle Harlee, 5th District Council Member Bregetta Fields, 6th District Council Member Yolanda McCoy, 7th District Council Member Chris Johnson, 8th District Council Member Nathan Field, At-Large Council Members Maria Cabrera, James Spadola, and City Council President Congo) and one absent (Council Member At-Large Loretta Walsh) to pass the substitute ordinance.
“I’m excited that this ordinance passed. To see new people wanting to move into the City and people that already live here wanting to own, the program is a stepping stone to moving up in the economic pyramid. People who own homes usually own cars, and people who own cars are usually working, and all this will contribute to Wilmington being a better city,” said Councilwoman Gray.
Wilmington City Councilwoman Maria Cabrera, who is also chair of the Community Development and Urban Planning Committee stated “By having this program here in Wilmington I really firmly believe that it is an incentive for people to buy in Wilmington, and we do want to encourage more home buying in our city,” She also adds that she remembers buying her home under a similar program with the City of Wilmington, Delaware.
Are You Eligible for the Wilmington First Start Home Ownership Down Payment and Settlement Assistance Program?
There are some eligibility requirements that must be met before getting these funds. The homebuyer must not have owned their principal residence at any point in the three years prior to settlement, with the exception of single parents, who have just a one-year requirement. He must have at least $1,000.00 to contribute towards settlement costs. The home must be their principal place of residence, and he must complete a homeownership counseling program with a HUD-certified counselor before signing a sales contract or applying for a mortgage. An American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) home inspection must be completed on all properties and all major defects identified by the inspection must be repaired by a licensed contractor prior to closing. New construction homes must have a one-year HUD-approved warranty, and a visual assessment for lead-based paint must be conducted on all homes built prior to 1978. The procedure for applying for the program is forthcoming. For the latest information, visit the City’s Real Estate and Housing website here.