Several groups have combined forces to offer a first-time home-ownership program for Colorado families.

The National Organization of African Americans in Housing, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. unveiled the program during a National Association of State Housing Agencies’ annual conference in Chicago, Ill.

The program will include more inclusive underwriting criteria, reduced mortgage insurance premiums, and specialized home-ownership counseling designed to achieve success for first-time home buyers participating in this new program. Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.’s SmartPath mortgage insurance product is a component of this initiative.

“The convergence of CHFA with NOAAH and MGIC in the initiative is of great significance because it enables us to expand our first-time home buyer delivery system with a set of new partners,” said Milroy A. Alexander, CHFA executive director.

“This program represents an important opportunity for all low and moderate income families in Colorado who aspire to becoming homeowners,” said Kevin Marchman, NOAAH executive director.

CHFA is committed to providing home-ownership opportunities to low-income and moderate-income individuals and families, especially in underserved communities. NOAAH has been an advocate across the country in identifying and evaluating best practices in meeting the needs of these first-time home buyers without resorting to sub-prime or predatory lending.

Both CHFA and MGIC, the nation’s largest provider of private mortgage insurance, are members of NOAAH and its home-ownership taskforce.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority was established by the General Assembly in 1973 to provide housing financing for low- and moderate-income households in Colorado. In 1982 and 1987, the enabling legislation was amended to allow CHFA to provide financing for small business and economic development as well as housing. CHFA is not a state agency – it is self-supporting and its bonds and notes are not obligations of the state. Likewise, CHFA’s operating expenses are paid from loan fees and interest charges, not from appropriated tax dollars.

MGIC, the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corp., is a provider of private mortgage insurance coverage, with $179.8 billion primary insurance in force covering 1.45 million mortgages as of Sept. 30, 2004. MGIC serves 5,000 lenders with locations across the country and in Puerto Rico, and helps families achieve home ownership sooner by making affordable low-down-payment mortgages a reality.

NOAAH is a national non-profit membership organization and affordable housing advocate. Its membership includes public housing authority executives, state housing finance agency officials, and their senior staffs respectively, housing advocates, corporate and industry organizations and partners, housing professionals, financial institutions, housing service providers and affordable housing residents and their organizations. Founded in 1998, NOAAH has evolved into a proponent for increasing affordable housing options for underserved communities and markets.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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