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$300K grant to benefit Baltimore's first-time home buyers

Baltimore's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) First-Time Homebuyer's Program received $300,000 in renewed funding in February. The CDBG's gain is a windfall for 60 first-time homebuyers in Baltimore. With the additional $300,000 in funding, the income-eligible families will receive $5,000 in home buying assistance.

Baltimore Housing's Office of Homeownership established the first-time buyer program in August 2009. At the start of the program, $300,000 was available for down payment and settlement assistance to low-income families. Within two months, those funds were exhausted. 

"We're pleased to offer the Community Development Block Grant First-Time Homebuyer's Program to help make the dream of owning a home possible for income-eligible families in Baltimore," says Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "We're equally excited to announce that affordable housing stock is still available for purchase in many of Baltimore's 220 neighborhoods."

Homebuyers can use the incentive funds in combination with an $8,000 First-Time Home Buyers Federal Tax Credit for a total of $13,000 in home buying support. In November 2009, the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extended the tax credit for first time homebuyers purchasing a primary home between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010, with settlement by July 1, 2010. Additionally, active City employees may qualify for $3,000 in home buying incentive funds through the Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Program.

"This window of combined opportunities is time sensitive. First-time homebuyers are encouraged to take advantage of available City homeownership incentives while federal help is also being offered," says Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano.

Housing counseling from a City- approved housing counseling agency is a requirement for this and all City homeownership programs. Approved housing counseling agencies and income eligibility criteria are listed on the Baltimore Housing website.

Source: Housing Authority of Baltimore City
Writer: Walaika Haskins

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