VHDA Newsletter
Spring 2015   |  News from VHDA
New Programs at VHDA
Susan Dewey, Executive Director of VHDA

Spring is often when things start to heat up in the housing market, so I'd like to tell you about some exciting new programs we're launching to help first-time homebuyers (and current homeowners).

Our Mortgage Credit Certificate program is about to kick off, and we have a new 3% Down Payment Assistance Grant. Both of these programs can make a big difference in affordability for first-time homebuyers such as the millennials, as you'll see in our First-time Homebuyer Update below.

We're also working with housing counselors to help consumers make wise financial and housing decisions, and we're hosting an event to assist our loan customers facing financial hardship. 

Scroll down for our complete Spring update -- enjoy!

First-time Homebuyer Update
Why Aren't More Millennials Buying? 

With mortgage rates at historic lows, and home prices still below pre-recession highs, monthly mortgage payments are now affordable and, in many cases, less than the cost of renting. So, why is it that millennials -- the largest group of potential first-time homebuyers -- are struggling to establish independent households?

For starters, wages for young households remain low, which limits the amount of mortgage liability they can assume. Also, buying a home requires significant upfront savings for a down payment and closing costs. Low wages, high rents and heavy student debt prevent many millennials from accumulating these funds. Also, a substantial number of young minority households are first-generation homebuyers, and their families may lack the home equity or other financial resources to help with upfront expenses.

For millennials hoping to buy their first home, VHDA's new first-time homebuyer programs are launching at a good time. Our Mortgage Credit Certificate and 3% Down Payment Assistance Grant programs could help make the cost of homeownership a little more affordable for these younger homebuyers. Read on for more about these new programs ...


Mortgage Credit Certificates
Boost the Tax Benefits of Owning a Home
We are in the final stages of developing our Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program, which is projected to be available in May. An MCC could save a first-time homebuyer thousands of dollars by reducing the amount of federal income tax they owe.

Unlike an income tax deduction, an MCC is a dollar-for-dollar credit against a person's federal income tax liability. To qualify, homebuyers must be first-time homebuyers, or not have owned a home in the previous three years --but this requirement may be waived if the home is in a federal targeted area. The home must also be used as their principal residence, and maximum income and sales price limits apply.

For complete details including participating lenders, how to become a participating lender, how to apply for an MCC, and contact info if you have questions, please visit


3% Down Payment Assistance Grant
Helping First-time Homebuyers Reach Their Dreams

VHDA's new grant program can help qualified first-time buyers by providing funds for the down payment -- up to 3 percent of the home's purchase price. What's more, no repayment is required! 

This grant may only be used with VHDA's Conventional, FHA and Fannie Mae No MI programs, and there are program limits on household income and sales price. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be allocated by June 30, 2015. For full details including a list of participating lenders, visit

Housing Counselor Campaign
Helping Consumers Make Good Financial Decisions

Housing counselors are available throughout the state to help people when making major decisions about their finances and housing options -- but many people don't know they exist! That was the consensus based on a survey VHDA sent to 32 non-profit, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, who receive funding through the HUD grant program we administer. As a result of that survey, our Housing Education and Marketing departments are now working with these agencies to launch a statewide awareness campaign about housing counseling.

The campaign will launch with online ads that lead to a landing page on VHDA's website. The landing page provides information on the availability and importance of housing counseling, the various types of housing counselors and that their services are often free. It explains how to prepare for a counseling session including what documents to bring, and has a link to the HUD website where you can search for a housing counselor in your area.

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide trustworthy, free or low-cost advice. They help clients understand if they're financially ready to buy a home, and how much they can afford. They also offer expertise in rental housing, financial and credit counseling, foreclosure prevention and post-purchase counseling including information on reverse mortgages. 


Special Event for Struggling Borrowers

VHDA hosted a free event on May 2, to explain options available through our Loss Mitigation program. Customers having financial difficulties were sent a personal invitation to come and meet our Loss Mitigation Staff, learn about potential solutions for saving their home, and submit a Borrower's Financial Package

The event was one example of how VHDA is reaching out to support our mission of helping Virginians attain (and retain) quality, affordable housing.


News from Housing Virginia

Housing Virginia is a partnership of organizations and people working to help ensure that all Virginians have access to quality, affordable housing. VHDA's Executive Director, Susan Dewey, is one of the founders of Housing Virginia and an active board member. 
To learn more about the work of Housing Virginia, read their newsletter, Start Here

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