Up to 32% of people looking to buy a new house in the United States are first time homebuyers. And Trenton, New Jersey is giving them an incentive to move there.
On Thursday, August 3, the city council of Trenton approved a resolution to offer $25,000 to first time homebuyers. This money will be used for closing costs and mortgage write-down assistance. But most importantly, it will be used for down payments, which is one of the leading causes for new homeowners to put buying a house on hold.
“The whole idea is to encourage home ownership in the city and to encourage those individuals who may be renters, if they want to become homeowners, this is an opportunity for them,” said Trenton’s director of housing and economic development Diana Rogers. “It will also help individuals who might come into the city, looking to make Trenton their home.”
However, the program won’t be as simple as moving to Trenton to begin a new life with the American dream. In order to partake in the new homeowners program, those looking to apply must first be eligible for a mortgage.
There is also discussion being held by city council regarding the conditioned length of time the homeowner must reside in the home they purchase in Trenton under the program. While the terms of the living arrangements have yet to be set, Rogers says the council is looking to settle on a term between five and 10 years.
An assistance program for first time homeowners had been in place in Trenton before, but the program was canceled in 2013. Now, with new funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Home Investment Partnership as well as the Community Development Block Grant, this financial assistance will be renewed and may be able to assist up to 29 new homeowners.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is also funding an additional housing assistance program for the city of Trenton, but not for new homebuyers. Rather, it is intended to help house the homeless. The grant of $3.8 million will allow Trenton to build supportive housing and rapid re-housing in order to find families permanent homes.
Trenton health director James A. Brownlee said of the grant, “Our goal is to protect these services that help the homeless, expand them, and continue to partner with capable organization to deliver services that meet the critical needs of people struggling with homelessness.”