The city of Glen Falls is one of eight in New York state that will be part of a new, $5 million Graduate to Homeownership program designed to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners.
The pilot program offers low-interest rate mortgages, a down payment assistance loan with no additional fees, and a homebuyer education course.
Other cities participating are Jamestown, Geneva, Elmira, Oswego, Oneonta, Plattsburgh and Middletown.
“We continue to invest in the development of downtown areas across Upstate New York, and with the launch of this innovative program, we will take our efforts a step further by enticing young graduates to make an investment in these communities and in their future,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “By removing barriers for talented graduates and allowing them to afford a new home in the Empire State, we are laying the foundation for stronger, more viable communities across New York for generations to come.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the city to bring new residents into our community,” said EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew.
“More and more, young people today are looking to work and live in downtown areas with easy access to community restaurants, shopping, transportation, and culture. Gov. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is rebuilding our downtowns into walkable and thriving communities where people want to live,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “The new Grad to Homeownership program completes the package by providing our graduates with the opportunity to buy homes in our downtowns, increasing their attractiveness as places to live, work and raise a family right in Upstate New York.”
The program, created by New York State Home and Community Renewal, is available for qualified first-time homebuyers who have graduated from an accredited college or university with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree within the last 48 months.
It is administered by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), which provides financing and programs for first-time, low-income and moderate-income homebuyers in the state. Since 2011, SONYMA has provided $1.5 billion in mortgage financing, making home ownership possible for more than 9,000 New Yorkers.
Officials said key features of the Graduate to Homeownership Program include:
• Subsidized low-interest rate mortgages.
• Down payment assistance loan of the greater of $3000 or three percent of the home purchase price up to a maximum of $15,000, with no additional fees.
• Access to additional available subsidies and resources.
• Online and on-campus homebuyer counseling and education.
SONYMA is working with a network of homeownership counseling agencies, colleges and universities, and mortgage lenders to ensure participating borrowers are knowledgeable of all resources available to them, advise borrowers on the benefits of income-based repayment, and stress the importance of making informed financial decisions, officials said. This network will operate on campuses across the participating regions and will help homebuyers structure their finances in a way that decreases the likelihood of delinquency or default.
A recent Fannie Mae National Housing Survey showed that 90 percent of people age 25 to 34 who rent are likely to eventually buy a home. While New York City leads the nation with more than 71 percent of students from colleges and universities remaining in the area after they graduate, many Upstate communities have struggled to retain graduates. With growing Upstate economies and attractive, affordable housing markets, these communities are ideal for millennial home ownership.
State Sen. Betty Little, chairperson of the Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee said, “Integral to revitalizing a downtown is attracting people to live there, and for various reasons, home ownership is an important part of that equation. I was pleased to support Gov. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative program in the budget last year and am very happy to see the cities of Glens Falls and Plattsburgh among the winners selected in that competition.
“As our cities’ plans for economic growth take shape, I am hopeful we will see more college graduates come to see their future in our downtowns. This homeownership program will serve as another incentive for some of them to plant roots in these urban areas.”
For more information about the program, visit www.sonyma.org or call 1-800-382- 4663.