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Rental Vouchers Aid in Paying Mortgages

August 18, 2002|Diane Wedner

An Inland Empire single mother of two is among the first in Southern California to participate in a homeownership program that allows eligible families to use their Housing and Urban Development rental assistance vouchers to make monthly mortgage payments.

In an effort to boost homeownership among low-income working families, the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino is using conventional mortgage financing to enable Section 8 recipients to buy a home, under the county's new Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Under the terms of the program, families eligible for rental assistance may qualify for a mortgage based on their current earned income, combined with the housing-assistance subsidies.

Participants must be first-time home buyers, earn a minimum monthly income of twice the voucher payment standard, and have held a full-time job for two years. Additionally, participants must contribute 3% of the down payment costs; 1% must come from their own funds.

Partners in the voucher program include Cal Fed Lending, Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire and Fannie Mae.

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