Fannie Mae Markets Financial Products to Home Buyers with Disabilities Through HomeChoice™ Mortgage Program
SEATTLE, WA -- Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE), the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages, today announced that 417 individuals with disabilities have achieved the American dream of homeownership thanks to the HomeChoice™ mortgage, a unique product created to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income borrowers who have disabilities, or who have disabled family members living with them. Housing leaders from ten western states, who specialize in providing homeownership opportunities for individuals with disabilities, joined Fannie Mae in Seattle for the announcement during the first Western Regional HomeChoice™ Conference. Since the inception of HomeChoice™ in 1996, Fannie Mae has financed $27 million of these affordable mortgages. In Washington alone, 211 individuals with disabilities and their families have become homeowners with the help of HomeChoice™ - more than any other state in the nation.
"Becoming a homeowner is a challenge for most individuals, but Fannie Mae's HomeChoice™ mortgage truly makes a difference for individuals with disabilities and their families," said Heyward Watson, director of Fannie Mae's Puget Sound Partnership Office. "HomeChoice™ is part of Fannie Mae's commitment to provide affordable housing opportunities to all individuals who are ready to become homeowners."
HomeChoice™ addresses the unique housing and home-buying needs of individuals with disabilities by allowing for lower down payments; more flexible use of second mortgage financing for down payment and closing cost assistance, rehabilitation and access modifications; and special qualifying and underwriting guidelines for borrowers whose incomes are at or below 100 percent of the area median income.
HomeChoice™ loans are available through Fannie Mae-approved lenders working in partnership with organizations called HomeChoice™ Coalitions. These groups are comprised of public, private and nonprofit organizations that have come together to create homeownership opportunities for people with disabilities. HomeChoice™ Coalitions facilitate comprehensive pre- and post-purchase counseling for borrowers and provide down payment, closing cost, and home-access modifications or rehabilitation assistance, as well as delinquency prevention support for HomeChoice™ borrowers. In Washington, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) is the lead HomeChoice™ Coalition agency.
"Homeownership is extremely valuable to the strength of Washington's families and communities. That is why we are proud to help people with special needs become homeowners," said Kim Herman, executive director of the WSHFC. "We are proud of the track record of the Washington State HomeChoice™ Coalition and look forward to helping more people with disabilities own their own home."
There are 24 HomeChoice™ Coalitions in 23 states throughout the United States. In Washington, HomeChoice Coalition members include: Bank of America; Banner Bank; Bellingham Housing Authority; CHC La Clinica; Chelan Company/Wenatchee Housing Authority; Columbia Bank; Community Homeownership Center; Community Housing Resource Center; Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Tri-Cities and Olympic South Sound; Countrywide Home Loans; Eagle Home Mortgage; First Security Bank; HomeSight; Independent Living Resources; Key Bank; North Columbia Community Action; Olympia City Office of Community Development; Pasco Housing Authority; Phoenix Savings Bank; Seattle Mortgage; Spokane Homeownership Resource Center; Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs; US Bank; Valley Residential Services; Washington Mutual; and WSHFC.
HomeChoice™ is part of Fannie Mae's ten-year, $2 trillion American Dream Commitment™ to increase homeownership rates and serve 18 million targeted American families, including disabled individuals and other underserved communities whose homeownership rates lag the general population. For more information on Fannie Mae's HomeChoice™ mortgage, other affordable mortgage products, or a list of participating lenders, consumers may call Fannie Mae's Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-7-FANNIE (1-800-732-6643), Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PDT.