CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has announced a new initiative that will help West Virginia’s low-income residents turn their dreams of homeownership into a reality.
“For so many in our state, homeownership is out of reach. They work hard and save, but there are just too many barriers. The 502 Direct Loan Program opens up new opportunities and gives them a real, lasting shot at achieving a crucial part of the American dream,” said Erica Boggess, the Fund’s Acting Executive Director. “This is a great initiative and we are proud to partner with the USDA and Fahe.”
Through a memorandum of understanding with Fahe, a Kentucky-based organization on a mission to eliminate persistent poverty in Appalachia, and the United States Department of Agriculture, the fund is now the country’s only state housing finance agency to offer the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s Section 502 Direct Loan Program.
This program helps low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. This payment assistance is a type of subsidy that reduces the mortgage payment. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income.
The 502 Direct Loan Program has existed in West Virginia for many years, but because of cutbacks at the federal level and/or lack of access, production has dropped and the USDA has allocated those resources to other states, Boggess said.
“Now that individuals and families can contact the Fund directly and work with our staff to complete the application, we are confident more West Virginians will be able to use this program,” said Boggess.
Tony Hernandez, the USDA’s Administrator for Rural Housing, speaking at a media event at the Fund’s office on Thursday, noted the importance of this program for those living in rural areas.
“USDA Rural Development has helped more than 1 million rural residents buy homes since the start of the Obama administration,” Hernandez said. “Partners like West Virginia Housing Development Fund and FAHE have made this achievement possible, and we are very excited to create even more opportunities for rural America in the future. We are building communities together in West Virginia and beyond.”
“We couldn’t be happier with the way our partnership with USDA has benefited the people of the region,” said Jim King, Fahe’s CEO and President. “In the six years of the partnership, we have placed over 700 families in new homes utilizing the 502 Direct Program. “This new collaboration with our long standing partners at The Fund will allow us to capitalize on that momentum to empower families in West Virginia to make a better life for themselves.”
A number of factors are considered when determining an applicant’s eligibility for this loan. At a minimum, applicants interested in obtaining a direct loan must have an adjusted income that is at or below the applicable low-income limit for the area where they wish to buy a house and they must demonstrate a willingness and ability to repay debt.
For more information about the 502 Program, residents are encouraged to call the Fund directly at 1-800-931-8511 or visit the web page at www.wvhdf.com.
About the West Virginia Housing Development Fund:
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund is a public body corporate and governmental instrumentality of the State of West Virginia established to increase the supply of residential housing for persons and families of low and moderate income, and to provide construction and permanent mortgage financing to public and private sponsors of such housing. To date, the Housing Development Fund has issued more than $4.3 billion in bonds and has financed more than 118,000 housing units since it began operation in 1969. The West Virginia Housing Development Fund is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.