New Federal Program Aims to Aid Grand Prairie Residents Acquire Foreclosures

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosures

Bill Hills, director of Housing and Neighborhood Services, introduced the $2,267,290 HUD Community Development Block Grant budgeted federal program that will be directed in purchasing foreclosed homes, refurbish them and have it occupied.

The federal program is divided into two. The first program is a procurement aid for possible buyers and a $20,000 grant that may be used for the renovation, and full payment of the foreclosed house. It can help up to 51 mid-income families in 4 years.

Qualification or requirements for the grant application are:

  • Average citizens with an HUD income qualification of 120 percent of the area’s median income
    (For instance, a family of 4 in Dallas has an income of $79,000 which is 120% of the median income cap of $33,000)
  • The applicant must enroll in a homebuyers course
  • A letter of credit from a mortgage firm

The second program has the same qualification but targets government or district school employees. Cops, firemen, teachers, and other public servants who work in or will be relocating to Grand Prairie would be fit for the grant. The city will buy, renovate and sell foreclosed houses to the public servants with only 20% down payment or closing cost component.

The project can acquire 8 homes costing $60,000-$165,000 per foreclosed house. Proceeds will solely be used for this program. The rest of the government money will be used for managerial and rehabilitation expenses. The budget must be acquired in two years and spent within a 4-year period.

This bothered Councilor Tony Shotwell. He said the program seems to favor public employees over civilians. But Hills explained that the second program was patterned from old government programs and featured the broadened scope.

Other Councilmen reacted, but saw the bright side of the program. Councilmen Swafford and Sala thought that this program can invite public servants like firemen and teachers to transfer to Grand Prairie.