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New Haven launches affordable housing programs for renters and first-time homebuyers

Front Street in New Haven, Connecticut
Wiki Commons
Front Street in New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker announced this week the “I’m Home” affordable housing initiative. It's two programs designed to help renters and first-time homebuyers pay for some of the initial costs that can be a barrier to housing security.

The Security Deposit Program will apply to prospective renters who have trouble paying their security deposits. Often, security deposits can cost up to three times the monthly rent. The program will support up to 600 households in the area.

“A lot of people are often in transition in New Haven and this will help those residents have enough funding to cover their security deposit, and also there’s additional eligible funding for utilities,” Elicker said.

Single parent Tatiana Sellers was the first New Haven resident to take advantage of this program, struggling to pay her security deposit after the C-Section birth of her newborn child.

“I came [to city hall] a few days after having my surgery, with my newborn baby and they literally sat here and took the time out before the program even opened to help me, so I really appreciate that,” she told Elicker.

The Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program will support prospective first-time homeowners. While this program is pre-existing, the aid eligibility has raised from $10,000 to up to $25,000 in financial assistance. City workers are also eligible for an additional $2,500. This program has enough funding to support up to 40 New Haven households.

New Haven Livable City Initiative Executive Director Arlevia Samuels said this increased assistance can help homeowners boost equity and avoid costs down the line.

“If you have 20% equity when you’re purchasing your home, you don’t need to pay MIP insurance and a lot of people don’t know that until they actually get their mortgage statement and review it,” she said.

Both programs can be coupled with other affordable housing programs, allowing for some owners to receive up to $35,000 in assistance.

To qualify for either program, the applicant's household income must not exceed $38,640 per year for a single person, and $79,500 per year for a four-person household.

More information is available online, or call 203-946-7090 to speak with an affordable housing representative in New Haven.

Lauren is a former news intern at WSHU.