New state program helps first time homebuyers

New program offers help for first time homebuyers
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:05 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - As rent rises at a rapid rate, help is available for low-income Connecticut residents looking to buy their first home.

The state just launched a new program that is helping families put down payments on homes.

“I love it. I really love it,” said Heather McLarney of Hartford.

Heather has been a Hartford homeowner for the last 3 years.

After renting for several years, she’s happy to be a homeowner in the capital city.

“I prefer owning, I wish there were more opportunities to own in Hartford,” said Heather.

The state is trying to expand those opportunities for Connecticut residents looking to buy their first home.

A new program, called Time to Own, just launched.

“This is to ensure that no matter where people choose to put down roots in Connecticut, they have access to opportunities that will help them and their families thrive,” said Nandini Natarajan, CEO and Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.

The $20 million program is providing down payment assistance to low and moderate-income first-time homebuyers across the state.

Those who are eligible can receive a forgivable down payment loan for up to 20-percent of the purchase price.

In Hartford, only about 24-percent of homes are occupied by a homeowner.

“I want more people in the city of Hartford to be owners. I want them to be owners so that they know that the community is invested in them and they are invested in the community,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

Hartford has one of lowest home ownership rates in the state and the hope is that programs like Time to Own will help change that.

“One of the biggest ways we can help families build wealth overtime, help families escape the trap of intergenerational poverty, is through home ownership,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Some studies suggest it takes the average renter 9 years to save up for a down payment on a home.

The Time to Own program is funded through the state department of housing and a partnership with Webster Bank.

The program will help about 500 to 1000 people across the state.

For an application link and a full list of eligibility requirements, click here.