A local partnership between OnTrack WNC and Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO) has brought additional downpayment assistance loans to Asheville-Buncombe County. Low-income homebuyers (earning less than 80% AMI) participating in an Individual Development Account (IDA) program for homeownership are now eligible for an additional $25,000, zero interest, deferred loan with MHO funded by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA).
Mission Hospital’s innovative Mission Home Help IDA program gives Mission employees access to this loan opportunity. The Mission Home Help program provides participants up to $2,500 of match money towards home purchases after they complete personal financial counseling, homebuyer education, and money management education with OnTrack WNC. This program is the forerunner of employer assisted homeownership programs in our community.
“When Mission Home Help started, it was with the goal of helping employees at Mission Hospital buy their first home. Mission was the first hospital in NC to offer this benefit and we always hoped that other organizations would see the value and help us expand the program’s benefits to allow more of our staff to become homeowners,” commented Janet Moore, Director of Marketing and Web Services for Mission Health System. She continued, “With this special loan pool through NCHFA, that’s exactly what has happened. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
Extra Match Bonus - The new funding opportunity will provide IDA participants with an extra $1,000 in match funds.
“This extra boost will be just what some of the Mission Home Help participants need to make homeownership a reality. Currently, the loan pool and additional match money are only available to participants in programs such as Mission’s, which is leveraging state funding in our local community to help people buy homes,” commented Celeste Collins, OnTrack WNC Executive Director.
MHO’s Downpayment Assistance Program is the integral component that makes this additional local funding possible. Since 2007, MHO has offered a versatile downpayment assistance program to help low-income homebuyers in Asheville-Buncombe County afford homeownership. This funding primarily expands opportunities to local Mission employees, while also financially positioning our community to implement other employer assisted IDA homeownership programs.
“This partnership of Mission Hospital with OnTrack WNC, MHO, and the NCHFA is a great new way to expand homeownership opportunities for working families. We are proud to be part of a collaboration that pulls together so many resources to help Mission employees buy a home,” commented Scott Dedman, Mountain Housing Opportunities Executive Director.
The success of IDA programs is evident. Over the past three years, Mission Home Help has helped 30 Mission employees purchase homes, providing $75,000 in match funds. This represents over $5.5 million in local real estate investment.
“MHO is our community’s leader providing affordable homeownership initiatives,” Collins continued. “IDA for homeownership programs are an essential tool in effectively addressing affordable housing issues. We hope that this new funding opportunity and strategic collaboration will inspire other leading businesses in Asheville to consider similar programming to provide our community’s workforce the means to attain the homeownership.”
If you feel inspired to get more information on how your business or organization can offer employer-assisted housing, click here to email Celeste Collins, our Executive Director or call 255-5166 x123. Click here to learn more about Mission Home Help.