Erlanger joins the Northern Kentucky HOME Consortium to help promote and assist homeownership
The city of Erlanger has joined other northern Kentucky communities in a program designed to boost home ownership in the city.
The Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is a federal program that improves affordable housing options for low-income individuals or families by providing up to $10,000 to cover down payment and other home purchase costs.
The Erlanger City Council voted to join the Northern Kentucky HOME Consortium, which is led by Covington and includes the cities of Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow and Newport. Federal approvals were given and the City officially joined the consortium on October 1. The program now officially covers the residences of Erlanger.
“Owning a home is the American dream,” Erlanger Mayor Jessica Fette said. “I want to thank Covington Mayor Joe Meyer for promoting the HOME program and making Erlanger aware of the great opportunities the Consortium offers for homeownership.”
Since Covington handles the administrative work of the program, there is no cost or staffing requirement for Erlanger. The City will be promoting the program to real estate agents and lenders over the coming weeks.
HOME is the largest comprehensive federal grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to increase home ownership and to increase the supply of decent, affordable housing. Funding is allocated to the consortium based on a federal formula that includes population, poverty and other criteria.
Earlier this year, Meyer testified to the success of the program in Covington during a presentation to Erlanger City Council. “Since the Consortium’s inception in 2008, Covington has used this program to help 681 families purchase homes in city neighborhoods,” Meyer said. “We are delighted to welcome Erlanger to the Consortium so that they can have the same success.”
To qualify for the program, a borrower’s gross annual household income must be equal to or less than 80% of the region’s median income, which is $53,500 for a single person or $76,400 for a household of four people. Applicants should also receive HUD Certified Homebuyer Counseling to prepare them for the buying process and to understand the long-term costs of owning a home. Owner-occupied or vacant units of one to two units are eligible for the program.
Applicants who meet income and credit requirements are granted a ten-year loan of up to $10,000 that can be used for a down payment, closing costs, settlement costs, or to “buy out” the interest rate on the main mortgage.
Interest on the city loan would be zero percent and repayment is deferred. If the buyer lives in the house as their principal residence for ten years, the loan is completely cancelled. The loan will be canceled over ten years on a pro rata basis (1/10 canceled per year of residence).
The program has been a success at Covington, which averaged nearly 60 forgivable loans per fiscal year before the COVID pandemic hit. Erlanger applicants should contact John Hammons, the CDBG/HOME Program Coordinator at the City of Covington at 859-292-2163 for more information or visit erlangerky.gov.
City of Erlanger