At the request of County Treasurer Alishia Topper, the Clark County Council this week approved an interlocal agreement with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) to establish and administer the Clark County homebuyer down payment assistance program.
The council in August 2022 approved $2,000,000 to establish the first homebuyer down payment assistance program. Its purpose is to provide affordable home ownership for moderate to low-income persons, households and families. WSHFC this year approved a contribution of one-third of that investment, or $666,666 to the program.
The down payment assistance is a second mortgage loan program that combines with the Home Advantage or Opportunity first mortgage loan programs offed by WSHFC. It is available to qualifying borrowers purchasing a home at or below the area median home price within the county, which currently is $600,000. The assistance program loans up to $60,000; $45,000 provided by the county and $15,000 from the commission.
The loan is at 2% simple interest and the repayment funds will be go back and be reinvested in the program. Repayment is due at the time of sale, transfer, refinance, when the borrower no longer occupies the primary residence or at 30 years.
Qualifying borrowers must be first-time homeowners, complete pre-purchase housing counseling, and agree to attend post-purchase housing counseling. The household must have an annual income not exceeding 90% of the area median income for a household of four.
"Homeownership is a fundamental way to earn generational wealth and break the cycle of poverty," said Topper. "I thank the County Council, Commission, and community supporters for helping to make this program possible for those who otherwise would not achieve the dream of owning a home in our expensive housing market."
“We greatly appreciate Treasurer Topper’s leadership and are thrilled to partner with Clark County to help families realize their dreams of owning a home,” said Lisa DeBrock, director of homeownership at the Housing Finance Commission. “By bringing our statewide resources to bear, we can help local funds go much farther and reach deeper.”
“There is a real advantage of experience in this program, including experience from outside Clark County that can inform how to best to administer the program for ongoing renewal of funds as we move forward over the years,” said Council Chair Karen Dill Bowerman. The Chair thanked Treasurer Topper and representatives from WSHFC for their work on the program, adding “I look forward to so many good things from this program for our community.”
For more information on the down payment assistance, visit the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/treasurer/homebuyer-downpayment-assistance.
Alishia Topper, County Treasurer