Industry News

Down-payment assistance vital to low-income families

Study finds programs bridge 'affordability gap'

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A new study of privately funded down-payment assistance programs finds they have become vital for helping low- to moderate-income families become homeowners.   The study was conducted by the Milken Institute and sponsored by the Nehemiah Corporation of America, the nation's first privately funded down-payment assistance provider.   The study examined more than 36,000 down-payment assistance families in six different cities to quantify the impact of down-payment assistance programs on individuals, cities and communities.   Some of the key findings include:   Over the last 12 years, home prices have risen 30 percent faster than wages and salaries for low- to moderate-income families, creating a growing "housing affordability gap."   Down-payment assistance programs bridge that gap by putting hundreds of thousands of families in homes. These are families who could afford monthly mortgage payments, but were unable to save the money necessary for a down payment....