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First time homeowners sought for New Life Homes

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This house on High School Street was open to visitors Saturday who might be interested in buying a home for the first time.

MABTON - An open house was held Saturday in Mabton at High School Street to showcase a new home built as part of the Diocese of Yakima Housing Service's New Life Homes.

The Diocese has obtained federal funds that will be combined with loans with zero interest for first time homebuyers.

The USDA Rural Development Association will also subsidize rent, based on family size and income, said Isabel Garcia, Housing Specialist for the Diocese Housing Services.

Garcia added that they've partnered with Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, so that the bank can offer leverage loans to families who qualify.

The purpose of the open house this past Saturday was to, as she says, "Show the community and any interested person the quality of the homes that we're building. It generates interest for new applicants."

The home on High School Street is in the process of being sold, she said, and as families qualify for financing, more will be built.

There are some requirements to qualify for the first-time homebuyer program. The buyers must be willing to put in 250 hours of sweat equity that will be used in place of a down payment. No bankruptcies can be on record for the past three years. And, applicants must be within the income table perimeters for the USDA.

"That will determine the monthly payment and the amount of subsidy help based on income and family size," Garcia said. She added that those with bad credit are aided by credit counseling.

"We work with potential homeowners to restore credit."



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