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May 10, 2005 > Nonprofit organization helps people buy affordable homes

Nonprofit organization helps people buy affordable homes

Hilda Delgado

According to recent statistics, 80 percent of Union City households cannot afford to purchase a median priced home. These numbers are based on a family of four earning one hundred percent of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published Area Median Income (AMI), which is $105,000. The median family income for this Union City is $71,926. A family of four would have to increase its income by over $30,000 in order to qualify for first time home purchase financing.

Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley (NHSSV) has a unique first mortgage and proprietary secondary mortgage financing available to first time homebuyers in Union City. Uniting low-income families with their first home has been the long time goal of the San Jose based nonprofit organization who has successfully put 250 families into their first home.

To help solve the affordable housing crisis in Union City, the community leadership group, Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR) engaged the services of NHSSV.

"Part of what we do is conduct one-on-one's with members of our community," said Pam Nelson, a member of the COR group. "We found high numbers of working people who were suffering from lack of affordable housing."

Nelson said COR was introduced to the first-time homebuyer services provided to low-income families by NHSSV, at the Nonprofit Housing Association Conference last year.
COR presented their ideas at a city council meeting and a homeownership task force was formed she said.

The first step to home ownership is to attend one of the orientation classes.
"At the orientation class, you will learn the 'Path to Homeownership,' as well as the many layers of down payment assistance financing available. Some deferred loans are available with fixed interest rates as low as three to seven percent," said JR Wheelwright, NHSSV's Homeownership Center manager. The focus is mainly on lower income neighborhoods comprised of underserved minority residents.

The next orientation class scheduled for the Union City area is on May 26 at the New Haven Unified School District Office located at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City. For information on how contact Maria Perez Castillo at (408) 279-2600 Ext. 221.

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