The HOME Program was created by the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990. The purpose of the HOME Program is to expand the supply of decent, safe, affordable housing for very-low and low-income families through the provision of grants to states and local governments. HOME is a formula allocation grant under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The VIHFA administers the program locally. The primary activity under the VIHFA’s HOME Program is financial assistance to first-time home buyers.
Eligible families can qualify for low-interest loans and grants to help purchase or build a home. The assistance may be used to “buy down” the mortgage to an affordable level. HOME funds may also be used to help finance the down payment and closing costs associated with acquiring a home. HOME Program assistance can be as gap financing in conjunction with primary financing provided by USDA Rural Development, local lending institutions, Government Employees’ Retirement System (GERS), or any of the VIHFA’s Mortgage Programs. Since 1995, the HOME Program has assisted more than 500 families in the Virgin Islands to become first-time homeowners.
Applications are available at VIHFA’s offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Primary lenders may also forward referrals for assistance directly to the HOME Program.
- Single persons, couples, and families with children are all eligible to apply
- Applicants for homebuyer assistance must be a first-time homebuyer
- Applicants for rehabilitation assistance must own and occupy the home as a primary residence
- The household’s gross annual income must fall within the HOME income limits published annually by HUD.
- HOME funds can be used to assist with the purchase of either new or existing homes as well as to subsidize the cost of new construction. There are certain federally-prescribed limits relative to the maximum property value (at purchase or after rehab) and also the maximum subsidy that can be provided.
- The assisted property must be a single-family unit (certain condominium and town house units also are also eligible)
- The assisted property must meet certain minimum housing quality standards prior to occupancy
- Properties which require rehabilitation order to come into compliance with VIHFA housing quality standards can be assisted. The cost of rehabilitation is included as an eligible HOME Program cost.
For more information or questions regarding the HOME Program, please contact Mrs. Shaneka Pennyfeather-Armstrong, HOME Program Coordinator at (340) 772-4432 ext. 3238.