Federal and local home-buying assistance programs are designed to help people working in specific public service positions. These programs reward good work and encourage community development.
Good Neighbor Next Door
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Good Neighbor Next Door Program (GNND) program offers law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency responders and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schoolteachers a 50% discount off the list price of a single family home. In return for the discount, GNND buyers must commit to live in the home as their primary residence for three years and sign a second mortgage and note for the discounted amount. Provided the buyer abides by the three-year occupancy agreement, no payments or interest will be due on the second mortgage.
Full details of the GNND program can be found on HUD's website. Available properties are listed and updated weekly on HUD’s online Home Locator.
Locally Sponsored Programs
Many local governments and nonprofit housing organizations also sponsor similar programs. The Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, sponsors one such program—the Chattanooga Police and Fire Fund for Home Ownership. Police officers and firefighters may receive a $10,000 grant to relocate to a home within the city limits and a $20,000 grant if the home is located in an area where revitalization efforts are underway.
"The purpose of this program is to reward police and firefighters for their service and to encourage them to live in the communities where they work," says Abby Garrison, Chief Operating Officer of CNE. "Cities all across the country have begun to recognize the value of having emergency responders live close by, as well as the positive influence these pillars of the community have on neighborhoods."
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