Homeownership Program

In June of 2003, the Lakewood Housing Authority (LHA) initiated a pilot program for a First Time Section 8 Homeownership Program. Initially the program was offered to qualified Family Self-Sufficiency Program participants. After that initial trial the LHA opened the program to all eligible Section 8 recipients through a random lottery. It was the decision of the LHA to have twenty-five (25) homeownership slots and following the success of several families the amount of homeownership slots was increased to fifty (50). The LHA will annually reevaluate the number of homeownership slots based on several variables such as demand, home costs, pool of eligible families, sufficient staff and funding.

As of November 2011, we have 27 families who have purchased homes through this program.

The general requirements are as follows:

  1. Minimum Income: The adult member purchasing the house must earn the equivalent of at least 2000 hours at the current minimum wage amount. This amount cannot include income received from welfare assistance except in the case of an elderly or disabled person. Also not included as income are Food Stamps, Earned Income Credit, WIC, Scholarship, Work Study, etc. However, Social Security (except for SSI) is considered income.
  2. Employment: One or more adult members of the family must be employed at an average of at least 30 hours per week, and must have done so for a period of at least one year prior to approval to participate. Again, this does not apply to elderly or disabled families.
  3. Down Payment: A minimum of 3% of the purchase price must be put down by the family as a down payment, and at least 1% of the purchase price must come from the family’s own resources. The down payment money must come from a savings account. The down payment money cannot come from a checking account. In the case where documentation is provided by the family that the financing does not require a down payment, as it is for first time homebuyers, the LHA will waive this requirement.
  4. Financing: The family must secure its own financing, and such financing must be insured or guaranteed by a state or federal agency or comply with secondary mortgage market requirements e.g. Fannie Mae.
  5. First Time Homebuyer: The participant must be a first-time homebuyer, which in this case is defined as never having previous interest in a residential property. The one exception is that one may purchase a co-op even if already owned prior to participating in the program. In addition, in the case of a displaced homemaker, this restriction is to be exempted.
  6. Home Qualifications:
    1. The unit must be either already under construction or existing.
    2. The unit must pass HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection performed by our agency.
    3. The unit must be inspected by a qualified Housing Inspector and the report issued must be supplied to the LHA.
    4. The unit must be affordable to the family as determined by the LHA’s guidelines.
    5. The unit must be a single family home solely for the residency of the Section 8 Homeowner. There cannot be any rental units associated with the home.
  7. Program Length: The maximum term of the program is 15 years if the mortgage term is 20 years or more; 10 years if the mortgage is 15 years or less.
  8. Other Requirements: The participant must attend homeownership counseling and receive a certificate of completion. In addition, the participant must adhere to the time guidelines issued by the LHA. The family must be in good standing with the Lakewood Housing Authority. This means no money is due to the housing authority and there have been no lease violations within the past year.

The Lakewood Housing Authority administers the Section 8 First Time Homeownership Program according to the CFR Title 24, Volume 4 revised as of April 1, 2003. Specifically Title 24 Chapter IX Part 982 Section 8 Subpart M Sec. 982.633.