In January, the Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corp. will begin structuring a lease-purchase home-ownership program, which it will market to moderate- and low-income Augusta residents by midyear, ANIC Director Robert Cooks said.
The program hinges on ANIC's issuing five-year, tax-exempt, lease-revenue bonds through the Richmond County Development Authority. The bonds will be underwritten by a banking or credit institution approved by Freddie Mac, a government-supported enterprise that concentrates on providing affordable housing through federal agencies.
Here's how the program works:
The bonds are tax-exempt because the homes are owned by a governmental entity during the lease period. Bond proceeds are held by a trustee in a guaranteed investment contract. The cost of issuance, program startup costs and required reserves are funded from bond proceeds.
No equity or down payment is required, but lease purchasers must have a durable and stable source of income. To be eligible, a couple's income cannot exceed 140 percent of $74,850, the median household income in Augusta. Single applicants' income cannot exceed 45 percent of the median income.
Lease purchasers must occupy the property during the term of the lease and cannot own other residential property during that time.
The program benefits local lenders, real-estate brokers and purchasers, Mr. Cooks said. There is no financial risk or liability to ANIC, he said.
ANIC is a private, nonprofit corporation, funded by state tax money, to revitalize some Augusta neighborhoods.
Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|The Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corp. is expected to have a lease-purchase home-ownership program in place by midyear that will be marketed to moderate- and low-income Augustans.|