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Summit County launches first-time homebuyer match program for low-income residents

A home for sale in Fairlawn
Anna Huntsman
Ideastream Public Media
A for sale sign sits in the front yard of a home in Fairlawn. New homebuyers in Summit County may be able to take advantage of a new county initiative called First Home, First Loan.

Summit County is rolling out a new program aimed to encourage home ownership by cutting down the cost for first-time homebuyers.

The county would match down payments up to three times of what the homebuyer provides, officials said in a press release Thursday.

"In a housing market that is increasingly competitive, we know how a little help can go a long way," County Executive Ilene Shapiro said during her annual State of the County speech in October. "If a family puts down $4,000, the county will match with $12,000 dollars in a deferred, no-interest loan. This program is targeted to our neighborhoods that are most in need."

Eligible low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers are now able to apply for the program.

Qualification is based on the annual gross household income of the homebuyer, which is determined by the gross household income for all household residents over age 18 and the number of people who will live in the home. The maximum household income limit for a purchaser must be equal to or less than 80% of the Area Median Income as established annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the program summary.

More details on income requirements can be found on the program’s web page.

Homes in Akron, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls are not included in the program because these cities have similar programs already, according to the press release.

The maximum purchase price is $163,000, officials said in the news release.

Single-family homes, condos and townhomes are eligible for the program, while trailers and duplexes are not.

The county will match up to $12,000 – a $4,000 investment from the homebuyer.

The down payment assistance program is funded by the HOME Investment Partnership program provided by HUD, according to the program summary.

Anna Huntsman covers Akron, Canton and surrounding communities for Ideastream Public Media.