Maui County Program to Assist 1st Time Homebuyers

WAILUKU – First-time homebuyers can get assistance with a down payment and/or closing costs in a program that begins Nov. 1, Mayor Charmaine Tavares announced Sunday.

"This is an exciting opportunity for those whose only obstacle to owning their first home is that much-needed down payment," Tavares said. "Through this critically needed program, we'll give a lifetime opportunity to new homeowners, and I'm thrilled that the county is able to help."

Evergreen Home Loans has been contracted to administer the First-Time Home Buyer's Grant program through the county's Department of Housing and Human Concerns. An allocation of $180,000 from the county's general fund has been set aside for the program.

A maximum of $15,000 per grant is allowed per applicant. To qualify for the first-time homebuyer program, applicants must live in Maui County, be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and meet income and asset requirements. Applicants also must not have more than a 50 percent interest in fee simple or leasehold land suitable for residential development.

Grants will not be required to be repaid unless a grantee refinances the first mortgage loan, no longer uses the property as a principal residence or if he or she sells the property.

Applicants are not required to obtain their first mortgage from Evergreen Home Loans to apply for assistance under the program.

The county has set the maximum household income for participation in the program at 140 percent of Maui County's median income, which is $105,560. (The income is established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)

The income cap as adjusted by the county for the residents of Hana is $90,888; Lanai, $91,938; and Molokai $70,238.

Beginning on Sunday, grant applications will be available from the office of Evergreen Home Loans at 173 Hoohana St., Suite 104, Kahului. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

For more information, call Evergreen Home Loans at 873-3480.

The mayor credited county Department of Housing and Human Concerns Director Lori Tsu

(taken from Maui News)