A public hearing has been held on reallocating $225,000 in previous years HOME program funds to a First Time Homebuyers Assistance Program.
Jamestown Director of Development Crystal Surdyk said funds allocated in the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Annual Action Plans had not been fully spent in those years and an amendment to those action plans would allow the department to combine those funds for another program, “This funding will go to one of our Community Housing Development organizations, CHRIC, for the First Time Homebuyers Program that they currently administer. This is a great way for us to be able to spend those funds that we certainly don’t want to see go to waste and there’s definitely a need. CHRIC is ready to go.”
Surdyk said Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation has applicants in their program waiting for funding and that U.S. Housing and Urban Development has supported CHRIC’s program in the past. She said CHRIC would retain an additional $500 per recipient for administrative costs.
The $225,000 would provide $4,000 to an estimated 50 low-to moderate-income first time homebuyers between 2023 and 2026.
Surdyk said the homebuyers would use the funds as gap funding, “It helps with down payment and closing costs. It also requires its participants to participate in a program that lasts over, I believe, nine weeks. They learn all of the basics of being a homeowner, responsibilities that they have as a homeowner.”
Surdyk said homebuyers sign an anti-speculation agreement that they won’t sell their home for five years, or risk having to pay back funding they’ve received.
She said there is about $1 million total in unexpended HOME funds. City Deputy Director of Housing Policy and Development Kasie Foulk said the Department of Development just learned that Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME monies not expended in previous years could have the action plans amended to reallocate the funds for existing or new programs.