For the last 5 years June has been celebrated as National Homeownership Month. President Bush started the initiative with the goal to increase minority ownership by 5.5 million by the end of the decade.
Since wage increases have not kept pace with home prices in the last five years, it has decreased the ability of many people to purchase a home. However, there are still special funding programs that fit with the goal of National Homeownership Month.
One such program has been used by 2 of my clients this year and introduced me to a new loan officer. The CASA (Community Activity Set Aside) program as explained by Nathan Marsten of Homestead Mortgage in Arden Hills is definitely a tool that could help encourage home ownership, at least among the working class of people.
CASA has 3 target populations:
- Single heads of households (Single parent with dependent children)
- Emerging markets (minorities)
- Work force initiative (Companies contribute to the real estate purchases)
Homestead Mortgage participates in the CASA program. Like other specialty programs there are income restrictions and "fine print" to read, but if one qualifies, there appear to be resources available.