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First-time homebuyers aid continues
• Ceres partners with Turlock
Ceres city seal

The city of  Ceres is continuing to partner with Turlock in securing and allocating funds to assist first-time very-low- and low-income home buyers with their down payment and housing rehabilitation.

At the June 8 meeting the City Council approved an agreement that allows the city of Turlock to help administer the program and receive $102,640 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.

Homebuyer Program funding will be provided for down payment assistance for income eligible families and persons who meet the criteria of the HOME Program. The program would assist the homebuyer by providing a larger down payment, thereby lowering the first mortgage and the associated monthly mortgage payment. The DAP is intended 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.