Thursday, June 5, 2008

HOME Atlanta Affordable Housing Program Update

The Atlanta Development Authority unveiled HOME Atlanta, its first single-family loan program in seven years, on May 4, 2007. A year later, the first round of funds is long since exhausted and a second one, issued last fall, continues to help all kinds of people and families buy in the city.

This program was designed to address the critical need for affordable housing in the City of Atlanta. Initially, HOME Atlanta provided a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5.95% with a 4% grant. Eligible buyers earning between $71,200 and $81,880 annually and purchasing a home at or below a cost of $252,890 could also receive 20% of their purchase price as an additional incentive, funded through the Housing Opportunity Fund. Within three weeks of kicking off the program, $15 million in funds was fully committed.

In response to the overwhelming demand for this program ADA’s second phase launched in September of 2007, with slightly different terms. This time, the program offered the first mortgage at a slightly higher interest rate of 6.25% and eligible borrowers could receive an additional incentive of 10% instead of 20%.

Since its inception, HOME Atlanta has helped more than 200 people realize the dream of homeownership and in-town living in nearly every quadrant of the City of Atlanta. Another 80 loans are expected to close before year’s end. Statistically, the program has been a model for “affordable workforce housing,” providing mortgages to 64 educators, law enforcement officers, government employees and healthcare workers. National publication DiversityInc, in its April 2008 issue, recognized the uniqueness of this workforce housing program and the impact it is having on the City of Atlanta. The magazine featured an article about the program and a testimony from the first Atlanta Public Schools teacher to benefit from HOME Atlanta.

Over the program’s first year, the average household size among HOME Atlanta participants was 1.5 persons. Annual income, by household, has ranged from $16,042 to $77,362, with an average of $46,349. Through the Home Atlanta program, ADA has been able to leverage more than $27 million in private investment and provided over $5 million in Opportunity Funds for down payment assistance. The program has also provided over $1 million dollars in 4% grants to assist its participants with closing costs. The average sales price of homes purchased using HOME Atlanta is $171,126, which shows that there are still affordable properties to be found in the City of Atlanta.

HOME Atlanta has enabled people from all walks of life to purchase a home in the city. Funds are still available, but only through October 2008. If you’re thinking about buying in Atlanta, the time is now! For more information, call 404-614-8280 or visit

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