Martis Fund to offer homebuyer assistance | SierraSun.com

Martis Fund to offer homebuyer assistance

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

A program that will provide down payment assistance to qualified working families in North Lake Tahoe is being re-launched by the Sierra Business Council and the Martis Fund, providing $500,000 for the new Martis Fund Homebuyer Assistance Program.

"One of the key barriers for people entering the housing market is that down payment. In order to get them into a home you have to have that initial bump," said Kristin York, vice president of business innovation for the Sierra Business Council. "Some people have family help them. In this case the community is stepping up and acting as family."

The program is limited to those whose household income is less than 180 percent of the median income in Placer County, roughly $144,180 for a family of four. Loans offered may be up to $50,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price. In addition the interest is deferred for the life of the loan or until the house is sold.

Borrowers can choose between paying the deferred interest at fixed three percent rate per year or a rate based on a share of the homes appreciation at the time of sale. Borrowers must invest a minimum of 3 percent of the purchase price toward the sales transaction from their own funds. They cannot currently own a home or have been on the title to a manufactured home within the last year.

“One of the key barriers for people entering the housing market is that down payment. ... Some people have family help them. In this case the community is stepping up and acting as family.”

— Kristin York, Sierra Business Council

Recommended Stories For You

"The interest is deferred for the life of the loan," said York. "It takes the burden of the extra payment off the family."

She said they will work directly with the lender or broker to reduce the amount of paperwork the families have to deal with.

The property borrowers intend to purchase must be in Placer County east of Donner Summit or in Truckee and at least 51 percent of the household income must come from employment in those areas.

"It's targeted for people who live and work in Eastern Placer and/or Truckee," said York. "It's very specific because that's where the funds came from."

The program was established in 2006 and has aided 19 families since. The Sierra Business Council took over administering the fund from Placer County.

"The Martis Fund is very proud to be offering this to the community," said York. "It's important to feel good about where you live and having a safe place to live."

For more information contact Gina Jones at 530-386-4986 or gkjones@sierrabusinesscouncil.org.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierasun.com.