City of Clarksville posts highest participation rate in Tennessee
Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan is cheering Clarksville homebuyers for jumping on Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s $15,000 HHF Down Payment Assistance program at rates far above the rest of the state.
Mayor McMillan met with Ralph Perrey, executive director of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), at City Hall on Thursday afternoon to get an update on the program’s success one year after its launch.
“THDA made this money available in targeted areas all across the state, so it’s up for grabs, and I’m thrilled to see Clarksville homebuyers bringing it home to our community at a rate unmatched by any other area,” Mayor McMillan said.
Perrey congratulated the Mayor and several local lenders for embracing the program, but he also alerted them that funding for the program could run out as early as this fall. Joining the Mayor and Perrey were Danisha Bumpers from US Bank and Heather Damer, Jennifer Candler and Nathan Bryant from Veterans United.
“This program was always intended to be temporary—a quick shot in the arm to some of the communities in Tennessee where the housing market was struggling with foreclosures and other lingering problems from the Great Recession,” Perrey said.
Because of new program, THDA nearly tripled its total home loan production in Clarksville-Montgomery County in 2017 compared to 2016.
“When someone who is saving up for a down payment finds out they can get a $15,000 jumpstart, it’s not just good news for the homebuyer but the entire housing market,” Mayor McMillan said. “It means homes sell faster, property values go up, and foreclosures go down.”
To date, 278 homebuyers in Montgomery County have been approved for the $15,000 HHF Down Payment Assistance program since its launch on March 1st, 2017. That amounts to $31 million, which is 13 percent of total funding allocated by the program in its first year.
To qualify, Clarksville homebuyers must purchase an existing home in ZIP Code 37040 or 37042 with a Great Choice Home Loan, which is a THDA mortgage product aimed at Tennesseans of middle/moderate income. Approved homebuyers receive a forgivable second mortgage loan for $15,000 that must be applied to down payment and closing costs.
In raw numbers, Clarksville-Montgomery County is third on the list of Tennessee counties for participating in the program, behind Shelby County and Knox County. But Clarksville-Montgomery County is “far and away” at the top of the list when adjusting for population size, according to Perrey.
“There’s a lot of smart homebuyers here who understand that it’s a rare and beautiful thing to get a forgivable loan to help you cover your down payment,” Perrey said. “We’re deeply grateful to all of our lending partners in Clarksville for helping us get the word out and the applications in.”
THDA launched the $15,000 HHF Down Payment Assistance program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury, which provided funding with the goal of stabilizing property values and reducing foreclosures in targeted Tennessee neighborhoods.
Looking at all of Montgomery County, THDA reported a 180-percent increase in the number of Great Choice Home Loans and 163-percent in home loan dollar value for the 2017 calendar year.
THDA makes its Great Choice Home Loans available through a network of private lenders in all areas of Tennessee. All Great Choice Home Loans include the option of financial assistance in the form of a second mortgage loan without interest or monthly payment. These second loans are limited to five percent of the home’s purchase price except in ZIP Codes qualifying for the $15,000 HHF Down Payment Assistance program.
For more information about Great Choice Home Loans, visit www.GreatChoiceTN.com