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City continues assistance for first-time low-income home buyers
First time home buyer PNG

Ceres residents who are in the very-low- and low-income category who are looking to buy their first home will continue to be offered assistance with their down payment or get help rehabilitating their existing homes now that the city of Ceres will continue to partner with Turlock.

At its Monday meeting the Ceres City Council approved an agreement that allows the city of Turlock to help Ceres administer the program and receive $110,589 in funds from the HOME Investment Partnership program.

In 2005 Ceres joined the HOME Consortium with Newman, Oakdale, Patterson and Turlock, along with the unincorporated area of Stanislaus County. Since then, the cities of Hughson, Riverbank and Waterford have also joined. Before joining the consortium, Ceres was required to apply for HOME funding in a competitive, project-based format. Together, the HOME Consortium is qualified as an Entitlement Community that receives HOME funds without undergoing the competitive application process.

The funds may be used to help the low-income, in particular the elderly on fixed incomes, disabled persons and low-income homeowners, to fix their homes if they don’t qualify for home repair loans. The loans – up to $6,000 – must be paid back in 20 years at three percent interest. Payments may also be deferred to when the property is sold or transferred to a new owner.

The funds received will allow the City of Ceres to administer projects such as the First Time Home Buyer (FTHB) Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) for income eligible individuals and families. The program assists a homebuyer by providing a larger down payment, thereby lowering the first mortgage amount and thus monthly payments. The program is for homebuyers who have not owned a primary residence in California within the past three years.

Rental Development activities will be used to acquire and or rehabilitate safe and affordable rental housing units of income eligible person and families who meet the criteria. Such funds have to be spent on prevailing wage labor, which tends to be much more.

The First Time Home Buyer program is being processed through the City of Turlock and there is currently a waiting list. For an application, additional information, or to be added to the waiting list, contact Maria Ramos at 668-5610. 

The City Council approved the agreement with Turlock to maintain its status as a sub-recipient of HOME funds as a member of the entitlement consortium. The agreement is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which is the agency administering the HOME program.