Lower and moderate-income residents of Washington, D.C. are now able to afford homeownership thanks to the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency’s (DCHFA) administering of the DC Housing and Community Development's Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). Monday, the DCHFA announced their first closing under the program during Mayor Muriel Brown’s June Housing Bloom, a monthlong initiative showcasing how the public and private sectors are partnering to produce and preserve affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods across D.C.
HPAP provides down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of interest free loans to qualified applicants to help them purchase their primary home, including single-family, condominiums, or cooperative units in the District. Late last year, it was announced that increased financial assistance and longer loan payback periods would be included in improvements to HPAP.
Leonidas Saturria-Rosario and Lurden Martinez de Saturria, Ward 7 residents, were the first to receive assistance from HPAP after five years of living in a small apartment with their three children. They now own a four level townhome in Ward 7’s Deanwood neighborhood.
“We are happy and satisfied that our prayers of being homeowners have been answered,” stated Martinez de Saturria, We won’t be priced out of the market and can afford to stay in D.C. thanks to HPAP.”
Todd A. Lee, DCHFA’s Executive Director said the purchase was a true representation of the DCHFA’s goals in expanding homeownership and the DCHFA’s service as co-administrator of HPAP will allow the Agency to serve more first time homebuyers like Leonidas and Lurden.
DCHFA will begin offering Freddie Mac’s “super conforming mortgages” that have a maximum loan limit of $636,150 starting June 20. Higher loan limits mean lower mortgage financing costs for borrowers in high-cost areas such as Washington, D.C. by decreasing the minimum down payment requirement and, in turn, assisting more moderate income.
“As DHCD creates ways to deliver services faster, we knew that by adding a respected partner like DCHFA as an HPAP administrator, we would be able to better serve District residents,” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson. “We are already seeing the pay off as a result of DCHFA’s first HPAP closing, and we congratulate them on this achievement.”