IHDA’s down payment assistance programs are often the difference that helps Illinois families achieve their dream of homeownership. Cecilia and Alexis each come from large families and had always envisioned owning a home of their own to host holidays and events. They were set on a house and could afford the monthly payments, but there was a setback. Between nursing school tuition and saving for a wedding, they were nervous about saving for the down payment. They contacted IHDA’s Homeownership team and with their guidance the couple was approved for a $7,500 down payment assistance grant from the 1stHomeIllinois program, a federally funded initiative designed to help revitalize neighborhoods by helping homebuyers in counties hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis. The down payment assistance, affordable mortgage and free pre-purchase counseling included in the program provided the flexibility they needed to overcome the down payment hurdle and achieve their goal of homeownership.
During FY2019, IHDA worked with 165 lending partners to help underserved borrowers purchase their homes with IHDA’s 1stHomeIllinois and Access Mortgage Programs. IHDA funded $710,207,837 in mortgage loans and down payment assistance representing home purchases or refinances by 5,336 households in 74 of Illinois’ 102 counties. In addition, IHDA issued mortgage credit certificates totaling $14,003,464, offering tax savings that made homeownership more affordable for homebuyers in 22 counties. To ensure Illinois homebuyers can access these products, the IHDA Mortgage team offered trainings and education for mortgage lenders and the general public on a consumer-facing website, prepared thousands of new homeowners through connections to free homebuyer education classes, and launched a homebuyer outreach campaign to connect potential buyers with useful information and contacts as they navigate the home buying process.
In addition to our homebuyer products, IHDA utilized funds from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund to offer innovative programs that help existing homeowners make costly improvements and repairs. Through the Home Accessibility Program, IHDA partnered with local governments and non-profit organizations to help seniors and persons with disabilities make their homes safer and more accessible by installing interior chair lifts, platform lifts, exterior ramps, bathroom modifications and other improvements.