Options for Affordable Housing

TABLE OF CONTENTS




New Developments Underway

Some large developments are underway:

  • New Village, Tritec's development in center of revitalized Patchogue Village, which will probably have a lottery in March - marketing will begin within days.

  • Mineola Senior Housing, with occupancy of these 36 rental units probably taking place this summer, and

  • Wyandanch Village, the exciting new development near the LIRR station that is part of "Wyandanch Rising," including 61 affordable rentals.

I have applications and further info for most of the homes listed below. Please pass the word about any options you know. And I'd be glad to share more photos that show how good affordable/workforce/next-generation housing can look.

Tom Goodhue
Long Island Council of Churches

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Save the Date: "Help for Homeowners" March 15

The Long Island Housing Crisis Task Force, to which the LICC belongs, is doing a free "Help for Homeowners" event on Saturday, March 15, from 9 to 2 at the Upper Room on Deer Park Avenue, which will include resources for first-time buyers, help for those trying to avoid foreclosure, and informal conversation about the housing crisis among policy makers. I'll send you a flyer as soon as it is ready. Many banks and agencies (including the LICC) are sending teams to the event.

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Update on Avalon in Huntington Station

A lottery was held recently for the first applicants for the below-market-rate homes at Avalon Huntington Station, but applications are still being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any homes that may remain after the lottery winners have been served. 303 rental apartments and 76 for-sale town houses are being built at 1700 East 5th Street in this beautiful new "smart growth" development near the LIRR station and Route 110. 43 new 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartments will be offered through a lottery to eligible applicants at below-market rents along with 11 for-sale town houses at below-market prices. Unlike many affordable developments on Long Island, there are no residence restrictions or preferences for this one. Applicants for the rentals must have income between
  • $22,368 to $42,400 for a 1-bedroom (1-2 people)
  • $27,552 to $52,950 for a 2-bedroom (2-4 people)
  • $35,808 to $61,450 for a 3-bedroom (3-6 people)
Monthly rents will be
  • $932 for a 1-bedroom
  • $1,148 for a 2-bedroom
  • $1646 for a 3-bedroom

Interestingly enough, some of the people who won the lottery opposed this development initially - I guess they object to affordable housing in principle, but couldn't find a place they could afford in practice. Further information and applications are available from the Long Island Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710.

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Rents Reduced at Avalon Court in Melville

3 below-market rentals are available at Avalon Court and Avalon Court North in Melville for those in the 80% of median income bracket. and the rents have been reduced. The income limits now range from $58,880 for singles to $97,000 for a family of six and the rents are now $1,481 for a one bedroom, $1,782 for a two bedroom and $2,044 for a three bedroom. Doesn't it say something about the shortage of rental housing in our region that these are below-market rents? For more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710. These are really beautiful units:

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New Village in Patchogue

About 67 apartments are lower-cost "workforce" housing for residents who earn about $45,000 a year or less. A lottery for this housing is expected in March. The complex will offer a private club for residents, an outdoor pool and common areas with grills, and an amphitheater. To see more, click here

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Downpayment Assistance in Babylon and Nassau

Did you know that qualified first-time buyers and those who have not owned a home for the past 3 years may be able to receive as much as $20,000 toward down payment and closing costs if they are purchasing a home in Nassau County or the Town of Babylon? Buyers must provide at least $3000 toward the down payment, must be able to secure a mortgage, and must attend mortgage counseling - and the last is a good idea for all buyers.

Buyers in Nassau must have an income of at least $30,000 and not more than a maximum limit that ranges from $59,300 for singles to $111,850 for a family of eight or more. For an application or more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710. The new Nassau program began Nov. 22.

ELIGIBILITY CRTIERIA: An Applicant Must:

  • Be a First-Time Homebuyer (cannot have owned a home in the last 3 years);
  • Have a Total Household Income within the HUD Guidelines (see below);
  • Have a documented minimum annual family income of at least $30,000;
  • Have a minimum of $3,000 of their own funds for down payment;
  • Attend mortgage counseling at the Long Island Housing Partnership;
  • Occupy the property as a principle residence;
  • Not be in contract prior to receipt of a Purchase Certificate.

2014 INCOME GUIDELINES
Household SizeMaximum Income
1$ 59,300
2$ 67,800
3$ 76,250
4$ 84,700
5$ 91,500
6$ 98,300
7$105,050
8 or more$111,850

ELIGIBLE HOME PURCHASE AREA:
Applicants must purchase an eligible lead-based paint free home within Nassau County.

ELIGIBLE HOUSING:
Single-family homes, condominiums, cooperative apartments (co-ops), newly constructed or already built. Housing must be owner-occupied, occupied by the purchaser as a tenant or vacant prior to sale. Housing must pass a Housing Quality Standards Inspection conducted by Nassau County.

No Short Sales, Foreclosures, Bank Owned or Real Estate Owned Properties are permitted in the program.

PROPERTY VALUE LIMIT:
The maximum appraised value of a house currently cannot exceed $333,000. This amount is subject to change based on HUD criteria.

APPLICATION DEADLINES:

  • February 28, 2014: Last date to submit application
  • May 30, 2014: Last day to submit a purchase contract
  • September 30, 2014: Last day to close on home

Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc
180 Oser Avenue, Suite 800
Hauppauge, New York 11788
(631) 435-4710

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Cortland Square in Bay Shore

Only two homes are still afailable at Cortland Square in Bay Shore. For those whose income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (something like a limit of $90,000-$100,000 depending on family size), a 3-bedroom, 2100 sq. ft. home will sell for about $194,000 and big 2-bdrooms for about $164,000.

I am impressed with the design and the craftsmanship of these homes, which are far larger and far nicer than my house. This beautiful, smart-growth development is located near the LIRR train station and Bay Shore's vibrant downtown, a great place to live. Applications are available from the Long Island Housing Partnership and they can also arrange for you to tour the already-completed homes. Applicants must earn less than 120% of the Nassau/Suffolk area median income, based on household size, (which ranges from $87,000 for singles to $124,300 for a family of four), and there is also an asset limitation. Fair housing laws will be followed. To receive an application or learn about open house dates, please call the Long Island Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710 ext. 0 between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M., Monday through Friday or visit the Housing Partnership at 180 Oser Avenue, Hauppauge, NY 11788.

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Islip Community Development Agency Housing Program

The Town of Islip's Community Development Agency has a great program that both builds new homes and renovates those in need of rehabilitation and then sells them at affordable prices to first-time buyers. These are low-maintenance Energy Star homes. The CDA assists eligible applicants with low-interest mortgages and sells the homes with low down payments, no points, no closing costs, and no application fees. They also provide rent-to-own options for those who are not quite ready to make a purchase. To be eligible, buyers must

  • have not owned a home in the past three years,
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • have a credit score of 640 or better,
  • have minimal credit card and installment loan debt,
  • have no outstanding judgments,
  • have no bankruptcy within the past five years,
  • have less than $50,000 in savings (not counting retirement funds),
  • have stable employment for at least two years,
  • meet income of at least $47,500 but less than their limits, which range from $59,300 to $170,300, depending on family size and type of home.
For more information or an application, please visit www.islipcda.org or call 631-665-1185. Look at these before and after photos to see the difference it can make in your neighborhood to rehab homes for first-time buyers:



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Affordable Homes in Mastic, Mastic Beach & Shirley

The Long Island Housing Partnership (to which the LICC belongs) is building ten new 3 and 4-bedroom homes in Mastic, Mastic Beach, & Shirley. These will be sold for $154,393 or $164,233 to qualified first-time buyers and those who have not owned a home for the past 3 years. Income limits range from $60,200 for singles to $113,500 for a family of eight. For an application or more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710 - or pick up an application in our Riverhead office.

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Summerwind Square - Affordable Rentals in Riverhead

Applications are now available for Summerwind Square in Riverhead. 52 new riverfront rental units with water views and balconies are being built in downtown Riverhead. 26 studio and one-bedroom apartments are available to those earning less than 80% of the Area Median Income ($60,200 for singles; $68,800 for two people) and rent for $905 a month for studios or $1042 for one-bedrooms.

23 studio and one-bedroom apartments are available to those making less than the AMI ($75,300 for singles or $86,000 for two people) and rent for $1137 for studios or $1310 for one-bedrooms. 3 two-bedroom apartments are available to families making less than 120% of AMI: ($103,200 for a family of two, $116,100 for three, or $129,000 for four people) and rent for $1559. For an application or more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710.

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Neighborhood Stabilization Program Homes

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides eligible homebuyers with assistance to purchase affordable single-family homes on scattered sites. The homes available have been previously foreclosed upon, renovated and are now ready for sale to eligible first-time homebuyers and those who have not owned a home for the past 3 years. In the Town of Islip, single parents and displaced homemakers also are eligible, regardless of whether they currently own or have recently owned a home. The sale price is based on income and location. The income limits range from $90,300 for singles to $170,300 for a family of eight or more. For additional information, please call Michelle DiBenedetto at the Long Island Housing Partnership: (631) 435-4710.

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Homes in Elmont for Those 55 & Older

Five homes are still available in the Senior Living Residence at Foster Meadow Lane in Elmont. These will be sold for less than $150,000, depending on location, orientation, and size, to those 55 and older. Income limits range from $60,200 for singles to $86,000 for a family of four. For an application or more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710?or pick up an application in our Hempstead office.

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Copper Beach Village in Patchogue

Three units are still available for re-sale in this impressive development in vibrant downtown Patchogue, a short walk from the LIRR station, restaurants, a great coffee shop, and more. For more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710.

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Oak Creek Commons in Oakdale

Up to $25,000 in state funds is available to qualified buyers at Oak Creek Commons in Oakdale. This assistance is not limited to first-time home buyers and the income and asset eligibility guidelines are unusually generous: ranging from $96,550 for an individual to a maximum annual income of $182,050 for a family of eight. There are 18 homes still available in Oak Creek Commons, and with the state assistance the purchase price will be $299,000 or less. Applications and further information is available from the Long Island Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710.

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Home Share

Have you heard about HomeShare/Long Island? It's a housing program that matches homeowners 60 or older with home seekers 18 or older who are in school or working. Common to each match is the opportunity of bringing people with compatible needs and interests together. Some homeowners require help with chores in exchange for reduced rent. HomeShare gives young adults an affordable place to live while giving their elders assistance, companionship, safety and security. Thorough background checks and interviews by a social worker are part of the HomeShare screening process, as well as ongoing support to assure the success of each match.

In Suffolk County, contact Doreen Davidson at the Family Service League, 631-427-3700, ext. 305. In Nassau County, contact Dolores Tibbets at the Family & Children's Association, 516-292-1300 ext 2312 or 2237 to learn more. And I understand that the Town of Babylon has a somewhat similar program that matches seniors with other seniors citizens who want to share a home. I'll pass the word if I learn more about this.

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Affordable Rentals for Seniors

CATHOLIC CHARITIES' SENIOR HOUSING LOCATIONS
NASSAU:
Mary's Manor
60 Doughty Blvd.
Inwood, Ny 11096
St. Agnes Village
1904 St. Agnes Road
Uniondale, Ny 11553
Bishop Kellenberg Gardens
2477 Long Beach Road
Oceanside, Ny 11572
St. Hedwig's Gardens
8 Linden Avenue
Floral Park, Ny 11001
Peternana Terrace
45 Wallace Street
Freeport, Ny 11520
Bishop Daly Gardens
525 Greengrove Avenue
Uniondale, Ny 11553

SUFFOLK:
St. Joseph's Village
2000 Boyle Road
Selden, Ny 11784
Bishop Ryan Village
10 Squiretown Road
Hampton Bays, Ny 11946
George Link, Jr. Apts.
1100 George Link Circle
Coram, Ny 11727
Msgr. Henry Reel Village I & II
590 Christopher Court
Medford, Ny 11763
St. Paul's Gardens
702 St. Paul's Court
Brentwood, Ny 11717
St. Anne's Gardens
80100 2nd Avenue
Brentwood, Ny 11717
Bishop Mc Gann Village
200 Bishop Mc Gann Drive
Central Islip, Ny 11722
Thea Bowman Residence
100 Schleigel Court
Amityville, Ny 11701
CABRINI GARDENS
110 Middle Country Road
Coram, NY 11727

NEW Eligibility requirements for HUD financed Catholic Charities' senior housing:

  • Age - 62 or older
  • Income - for an individual income must be below $37,650 annually; for a couple, income must be below $43,000 annually.
Further questions? Please call Barbara McCaffrey at Catholic Charities, 516-733-7076. For an application to any senior complex, please call Stanan Management at 516-486-1000.

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Enriched Housing for Seniors in Inwood

Catholic Charities is accepting applications for its innovative and inclusive enriched housing program in Inwood, which is available exclusively to seniors who are SSI eligible (Supplemental Security Income) or are on SSI, are 65 years of age or older, and need minimum supportive care in the activities of daily living.

If you are interested and would like to apply, please contact:
Eileen Armstrong Larney, (516) 371-1376 or (516) 733-7076,
Armstrong-larney.eileen@catholiccharities.cc.

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More About First Home Clubs: A Great Way to Save for a Down Payment - Even If You Have Been Through Foreclosure

I've previously posted info about "First Home Club" accounts, a great deal for homebuyers, but it is worth noting that this program defines first-time buyers - as do many programs - not as those who never owned anything but as those who haven't owned a home in the past three years. You can join a "First Home Club" even if you have previously owned a home and lost it to foreclosure. Those who do mortgage counseling and such to prepare for their purchase can get matching funds toward their down payment or closing costs. If you save $1,875 over 10 to 36 months and take classes to prepare for your home purchase, you can get a grant of $7,500. Astoria, Carver, HSBC, and M&T banks offer First Home Clubs.

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Down Payment Help Through Community Stabilization Program

The New York State Senate Delegation's Community Stabilization Program provides up to $30,000 in down payment assistance toward the purchase of a foreclosed home in Nassau or Suffolk. To be eligible buyers must have income less than 130% of the Area Median Income, which ranges from $94,450 for singles to $181,750 for a family of eight. The program is not limited to first-time home buyers, but you must:

  • not own a home at the time of this purchase,
  • buy a foreclosed home as their principal residence for less than the median price ($385,000 in Nassau; $305,000 in Suffolk),
  • meet asset limits,
  • attend free pre-purchase homebuyer counseling (a good idea for everyone!),
  • have at least 3% in down payment from your own funds, plus money for closing costs (a total of at least 5-10% of the purchase price),
  • and qualify for a mortgage.
For an application or more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710.

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New Guidelines for Employer Assisted Housing

There are new guidelines for the employer assisted housing programs in Nassau & Suffolk. Employees who make less than 80% of the area median income (which ranges from $59,300 for singles to $111,850 for a family of eight or more) receive up to $26,000 to $47,000 toward the purchase of a home, depending on how much their employers contribute, plus another $35,000 for repairs. Even those making up to 130% of the area median income can receive a lesser amount of down payment and repair assistance. The Long Island Housing Partnership assists them with the application process and provides mortgage counseling for homebuyers. For more information, contact Carol Woods at cwoods@lihp.org or 631-435-4710, ext. 315.

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Babylon Home Improvement Program

The Town of Babylon's 2013 Home Improvement program is now underway. For an application or more info, call the LI Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710.

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Veterans' Loans

Rich Murphy from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage shared some little-know facts about Veterans Administration mortgages:

  1. Veterans can actually finance up to 104% of a home purchase price. This allows them to include a substantial portion of their closing costs, so many Veterans could potentially purchase with little or no money down at all.
  2. The VA Funding Fee is waived for any Veteran with a VA Disability, even if that disability is just 1%.
  3. Best of all, VA Mortgages do not have any monthly PMI expense, even if the Veteran is financing 104% - which both saves vets a lot of money and guarantees that they will be paying down what they owe - rather than paying mortgage insurance - far more quickly.
  4. Veterans can use VA mortgages for refinancing their existing mortgage.

The costs associated with getting a VA mortgage have been reduced. VA mortgages are bundled, securitized and sold in the secondary market with the backing of the Federal Government. In order to insure these mortgages, the government charges an insurance premium, called a VA Funding Fee, which is typically added to the loan amount (thereby financed). Remember, too, that the VA (subject to some restrictions) will insure loans up to 100% of the purchase price for the home - and the Funding Fee is being reduced. Because it is typical that the fee is financed into the loan, the VA is effectively lowering the monthly cost (because the loan amount is lower) AND the amount that will be paid back when the home is sold (again, because the loan amount is lower).

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Funds Available to Make Homes More Accessible

The Long Island Housing Partnership has a new Rehabilitation Emergency Assistance Program that provides funds to improve accessibility in disabled Long Islanders' homes. Up to $15,000 in deferred loans are available, which can be used for various improvements, including wheelchair ramps, widened hallways, accessible bathrooms and kitchens, chair lifts and visual and hearing impairment devices.

Applicants must meet income limits set by the Federal Home Loan Bank, according to household size:

  • 1-2 persons: up to $97,728
  • 3+ persons: $114,016
To apply, please call 631-435-471 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, or visit the Housing Partnership at 180 Oser Avenue, Hauppauge, NY 11788.

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SONYMA Help for First-time Home Buyers

SONYMA, the State of New York Mortgage Authority, offers special assistance to first-time homebuyers (i.e., those who have not owned a home within the past three years) within certain income limits who:

  • purchase a home in a Designated Target Area,
  • are qualified military veterans, or
  • buy an Energy Star Home certified to save energy - and reduce your utility bills.
Downpayment assistance of $3,000 to $15,000 is available with every SONYMA loan. For more info on how to get a SONYMA loan, find free mortgage counseling from a HUD-certified not-for-profit and find a SONYMA lender, visit www.nyshcr.org and click on "SONYMA" and "Homebuyer".

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Help Getting a Mortgage - Without Mortgage Insurance

The Long Island Housing Partnership recently entered into an agreement with the Housing Development Fund (another nonprofit) to provide low-cost second mortgage financing to eligible LIHP clients - as an alternative to buying more expensive PMI mortgage insurance if you cannot make a 20% down payment. This option will be available to those who buy a home through the LIHP or go to the Partnership for free mortgage counseling - something we urge all homebuyers to do anyway. For further information about affordable homes available through the LIHP or to make an appointment for mortgage counseling, please call the Long Island Housing Partnership at 631-435-4710 ext. 0 between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M., Monday through Friday.

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Where to Get Free Mortgage Counseling

At our financial education workshop at St. Agnes Church in Greenport, someone asked where first-time homebuyers can find free mortgage counseling. I always urge buyers to go to a HUD-certified, non-profit counselor before buying a home. Here are some agencies I know that provide this service for free. I'll add more info as I confirm who still has funding for this sort of counseling.

  • The Long Island Housing Partnership in Hauppauge 631-435-4710
  • Debt Counseling Corp. in Hauppauge 888-354-6332
  • American Debt Resources in East Northport www.americandebtresources.com or 800-498-0766.
  • GreenPath offers free first-time homebuyer counseling in Jericho in English and Spanish and in Hauppauge in English. To schedule an appointment, a client would call 877-428-1113 or visit www.greenpath.org
  • The Community Development Corporation of Long Island has locations in Centereach and Freeport. The latter is at 333 N. Main Street, 516-867-7727. Further info can be found at www.cdcli.org

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Help Your Favorite Charity When You Get a Mortgage

Did you know that many banks will make a charitable contribution when you get a mortgage? Wells Fargo does this, for example, and the LICC is already an approved recipient of their gifts. This is an easy painless way to help your neighbors in need when you move into your new home.

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