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Statewide recognition for Richfield’s First Time Homebuyer program

Post Date:03/05/2020 4:53 PM

Richfield, Minn. (March 5, 2020) – Statewide recognition for Richfield’s First Time Homebuyer program

Last month, the first-ever Minnesota Housing Scorecard was released to evaluate Minnesota’s progress on affordable housing efforts across the state.

Specifically lauded was Richfield’s First Time Homebuyer program.

“Richfield has a long tradition of being trailblazers when it comes to its housing programs,” explained Richfield’s Housing Manager, Julie Urban. “The First Time Homebuyer program is just one of many examples of how the City creatively and proactively approaches its housing challenges.”

The program was recognized as a successful example of the goal to support and strengthen homeownership across the state. The housing scorecard also evaluated five other goals established by the 2018 statewide Minnesota Housing Task Force. The task force was made up of advocates, builders, policymakers, financiers and developers from across the state. The outcome was a commitment to six goals around housing, which are now measured in the scorecard.

Richfield’s First Time Homebuyer program was created as a response to the startling disparity between homeownership rates of white households and non-white households. In Richfield, 72 percent of white households are owners, where only 32 percent of non-white residents own their own home.

In response, the First Time Homebuyer program aims to provide low and moderate-income buyers with assistance towards purchasing their first home.

The program offers qualifying buyers $10,000 to be used towards down payment, closing costs and principal loan reduction. If a household is a Richfield renter, or has children in the schools, or has a disabled family member, they are eligible for an additional $5,000 in funding.

The loans accrue no interest and require no payments.

To date, nine loans have been administered, with six of those going to non-white households.

In addition to supporting and strengthening homeownership, Richfield continues to work on housing programs and policies that align with the other goals of Minnesota’s Housing Task Force.

“Our housing programs really provide a wide array of resources and support to residents across income levels and housing needs,” stated Richfield Housing Manager Julie Urban. “We work to build more housing options through our Richfield Rediscovered program and increase housing stability through our Section 8 and Kids @ Home programs.”

Celeste McDermott, housing specialist, explained the city’s commitment to supporting households’ efforts to remodel and maintain their homes.

“We want to provide all homeowners with the resources they need to make smart decisions when it comes to taking care of their homes,” she said. “We have loan programs to help with rehab work, as well as programs to provide guidance to homeowners as they pursue their projects. It helps keep our housing stock healthy and updated and also helps people remain in their homes longer.”

More information on Richfield’s First Time Homebuyer program and other resources can be found online at: http://www.richfieldmn.gov/housing.

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