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Governments Get in the Act to Aid Buyers

June 14, 1990|HOWARD BLUME

The crunch on first-time home buyers is particularly acute in Southern California. The price of a typical home in Los Angeles County is about $225,000.

With home prices soaring beyond what most people can afford, government leaders are beginning to intervene.

Around the Southland:

* Pomona, May, 1990. The City Council approves the sale of $58.4 million in bonds to help first-time buyers purchase new and resale single-family homes at low interest rates.

* Norwalk, January, 1990. The City Council votes to sell about $16 million in bonds to build apartments for low- and moderate-income senior citizens. At the same time, the council considers allocating money to help residents buy a first home.

* Anaheim and Santa Ana, November, 1989. The James Irvine Foundation donates $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity in Orange County. The money will be used to help build six condominiums for first-time buyers.

* Glendale, August, 1989. The City Council approves spending $300,000 to rehabilitate the city's older single-family homes.

* Simi Valley, July, 1989. The City Council votes to issue $15 million in municipal bonds that will provide about 25 buyers with low-interest loans and affordable down payments.

At the state and national level:

* January, 1990. Gov. George Deukmejian calls for a five-year, $2-billion program that will lend down-payment money to first-time buyers and help them obtain mortgage interest rates at below-market levels.

* November, 1989. President Bush asks Congress to let first-time buyers withdraw up to $10,000 without penalty from Individual Retirement Accounts for down payments on homes. He also proposes $2.15 billion in federal grants over three years to help low-income Americans buy public housing and vacant or foreclosed properties owned by the government. Congress considers these and other proposals of its own.

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