Grant FAQ’s

You must be a first-time homebuyer. The term “first-time homebuyer” means an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home during the 3-year period prior to purchase of a home with assistance.

(A) any individual who is a displaced homemaker may not be excluded from consideration as a first-time homebuyer on the basis that the individual, while a homemaker, owned a home with his or her spouse or resided in a home owned by the spouse;

(B) any individual who is a single parent may not be excluded from consideration as a first-time homebuyer on the basis that the individual, while married, owned a home with his or her spouse or resided in a home owned by the spouse; and

(C) an individual shall not be excluded from consideration as a first-time homebuyer on the basis that the individual owns or owned, as a principal residence during such 3-year period, a dwelling unit whose structure is-not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with local or other applicable regulations, or not in compliance with State, local, or model building codes, or other applicable codes, and cannot be brought into compliance with such codes for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

  • You must fall within the proper income guidelines for the county in which you would like to purchase a property. Maximum Gross Household Income Requirements
  • Your credit history and income must qualify you for a fixed conventional mortgage with appropriate debt to income ratios.
  • You must purchase your home in one of the following Counties: Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk.
  • The home you purchase must be within the purchase price limit of the particular grant program.
  • You must live in the home for the full term of the specific grant(s). (Otherwise, you will be liable for recapture provisions that apply and you will have to pay back all or a part of the grant proceeds.)
  • The property, if built before 1978, must have a Visual Assessment Test for Lead, done by a certified professional.
  • You are required to contribute at least 3% of the “anticipated” purchase price with your own funds. The contribution may include checking, savings, investments, 401K plan. Proof of source of contribution will be required.
  • The property must be appraised and have a value equal to or greater than the Purchase Price.
  • You are required to attend at least one Community Housing Innovations, Inc. Homebuyer Orientation prior to submitting an application. See upcoming orientation dates.

Participants are also required to sign a “Certificate of Accuracy”on initial application, as well as at the time the grant certificate is issued. This information will include, but will not be limited to, family size, total household income and assets. Third party verification of this information, such as tax returns and bank statements, will be required

The maximum grant subsidy may vary. The grant amount you receive is based on your need as determined by CHI. In certain circumstances you may receive less or more than the stated amount on the grant certificate. The final grant amount is based on purchase price of the identified property, buyer’s down payment, mortgage amount, any additional subsidies and amount of repairs to the property, if applicable.
Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester Counties

Single Family Home, Townhouse, Condominium or Cooperative.

 

A program recipient may qualify for more than one grant, but this is dependent upon the availability of funding and the applicant meeting the eligibility requirements for both grant programs. In certain circumstances you may receive less or more than the stated amount issued with the original grant certificate. The final grant amount is determined based on purchase price of the identified property, buyer’s down payment, mortgage amount, any additional subsidies and amount of repairs to the property, if applicable. Sizing of grant is based on need.

If you answer, “Yes” to the following questions, you might be ready to buy a home.

  • Do I have a steady source of income? Is the Income reliable?
  • Have I been employed on a regular basis for at least 2-3 years?
  • Do I have a good credit history?
  • Do I have the ability to make the mortgage payment and additional costs for taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs?
  • Do I have money saved for a down payment and closing costs?

If you are not ready now, start to budget in preparation for becoming a homeowner.

Start by thinking about your personal situation. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Am I ready to buy a home?
  • How far from my job am I willing to drive?
  • How many bedrooms do I need?
  • In what areas do I want to live?
  • If you have children, what school is in the area?
  • What are the taxes associated with a particular area of interest?
  • If interested in buying a condo, what are the monthly association fees?
  • If interested in buying a Co-op, what are the monthly maintenance fees?

You can drive through the neighborhoods, talk to friends, research the internet. You can also search the real estate section of the newspaper to see how much the houses are selling for in the area you wish to live.

  • A home is usually a sound investment. When you make your mortgage payment you are building equity in your home and the longer you stay in the home, the more equity you will have.
  • A home can increase in value as time passes.
  • Homeownership offers certain tax breaks. The mortgage interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible.
  • A first home can often lead to a better second home.
  • You gain the satisfaction and security of homeownership.
Along with the advantages there are disadvantages…
  • Home ownership can put a strain on the family’s finances. You are now making your mortgage payment, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance.
  • You have less mobility thank if you are renting because you have to sell your home in order to move.
  • There is a possibility of foreclosure if you fail to keep up your mortgage payments.
Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer. Keep in mind the amount that lender(s) have pre-approved you for based on income, debt, savings available for down payment and any grant subsidies.
YES, this is required. The inspector checks the safety of your potential home. He/she will focus on the foundation, structure, electrical and plumbing systems, the age of your boiler, roof, insulation, ventilation, the possible presence of pests, and mechanical systems in the home. It also provides you with a future assessment as to what monies you might need to repair or replace certain items.

Plan ahead. You will speed up the loan processing if you bring all the required documents on your initial interview and/or application session. All documentation will also be needed for a Co-applicant. You will need to bring with you: one month of consecutive pay stubs, bank statements for three months, W-2 forms, and your income tax returns for the past two years.

Yes, many lenders offer affordable mortgages for first time homebuyers which allow the homebuyer to qualify for certain mortgage products that are not necessarily available to other homebuyers.
A lien is a legal claim against your property that must be paid off when the property is sold. Grants issued through CHI for the purchase of a home will be attached as liens against the property.

Application Process

These are the 4 stages of the CHI Homebuyer Application Review Process:

1) Application Receipt

2) Intake Review for Grant Eligibility

3) Financial Assessment & Counseling

4) Certificate Ready – Grant Certificate Meeting and Beyond

Register to attend a free homebuyer orientation.

Download an Application. (pdf file) Mail to:

Community Housing Innovations

Attn: Homeownership Department

75 South Broadway – Suite 340

White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: (914) 683-1010 ext. 103

Fax: (914) 683-6158