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House to House: Arkansas REALTORS® Working to Educate, Support Workforce Housing
1 May 2011 - 8:46, by , in House To House, No comments

iStock_000011618280smaller-300x200The Arkansas REALTORS® Association has received a $60,000 Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grant from the National Association of REALTORS®. The grant will help support workforce housing initiatives in the state including consumer education initiatives that will be held throughout the state over the next twelve months.  The grant will also support the ongoing work of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and its two First-Time-Homebuyer programs ( the HomeToOwn Program and the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program) for low-to-moderate income Arkansans.

Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grants are awarded to state REALTOR® associations to fund programs that promote safe, decent housing for people with low and moderate incomes who cannot afford to live in the communities where they work. The grant is named in honor of Ira Gribin, a former NAR president who was a tireless advocate for fair and affordable housing for diverse populations.

“REALTORS® build communities and care about the high cost of housing and the lack of affordable, decent homes available to working families,” said Andy Meyers, President of the Arkansas REALTORS® Association.  “The Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grant will allow us to address affordability problems in our state and help even more working families purchase and stay in their homes.”

Workforce housing refers to safe, decent housing for working low- and moderate-income people who cannot afford to live in the communities in which they work. Workforce housing initiatives often focus on occupations that provide vital community services, such as teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses and health care workers. The Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grant program aims to assist a broader range of working individuals, including retail, office and restaurant workers.

The Arkansas Development Finance Authority in conjunction with local lenders and the ARA is offering the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program, a financial incentive to encourage first-time homebuyers to purchase a home.  The HomeToOwn Program, also a first time home buyer program, provides competitive financing to include two types of down payment assistance.

Prospective homebuyers can apply for a mortgage credit certificate or the HomeToOwn program when applying for a mortgage loan at any participating lender. Both programs are available to homebuyers who meet household income and home purchase price limits.  Income limits are based on the county where the property is located and the number of individuals in the household.  The maximum home purchase price is $225,000.  The program is restricted to first-time homebuyers unless the home to be purchased is in a targeted county.  A first-time homebuyer is defined as anyone not having ownership interest in a principal residence at any time for the past three years.

For more information on the Arkansas REALTORS® Association Workforce Housing Opportunities program, visit www.Arkansas.gov/ADFA or www.ArkansasREALTORS.com.  To find out more about the National Association of REALTORS® Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grant, visit www.realtor.org/IraGribinGrant.

House to House is written by Amy Glover Bryant, APR and distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association.

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