Maryland Homebuyer Program Gets New Infusion Of Funds

Maryland first time home buyers who have more than $25,000 in student debt can breathe a big sigh of relief as a program designed specifically for them has just had a new infusion of funding after running out in only two months.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

A state incentive program for aspiring homebuyers with more than $25,000 in student debt ran out of money in less than two months, officials said Monday.

With a new infusion of money, the You’ve Earned It program is now in its second phase and could be extended still further as the state tries to encourage millennials to buy homes.

“It’s really turned the negative of student debt into a positive of homeownership,” said Tiffany P. Robinson, the assistant secretary of development finance in the state Department of Housing and Community Development. “We want to allow them to participate in the American dream.”

The state announced You’ve Earned It in May and allocated $20 million to its first phase to help individuals with high student debt and veterans buy homes.

The money was used to make loans at a fixed rate of 2.75 percent, down payment assistance and a tax credit for the life of the loans to buyers whose debt loads might have made it difficult for them to buy a home on their own. It was not used to help participants pay down student debt.

Of the 81 loans made through the program, Robinson said, about 77 percent were made to buyers under the age of 35. The median age was 30.

The incentive is available only for those who buy in designated “sustainable communities,” or those deemed in need of reinvestment. The designation includes all of Baltimore.

The second phase of You’ve Earned It was funded with $70 million. The state has spent about $14 million so far, Robinson said.

In its second phase, the program is offering a 0.25 percent discount on the standard Maryland Mortgage Program rate, which varies daily, and $5,000 in down payment assistance.

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