DECEMBER 12TH, 2018

Connecticut Mortgages

The housing market has been in a fairly uniform rise on the east coast, and the US census information for Connecticut shows the result of this trend. The total number of housing units in Connecticut according to the 2000 census information was 1,402,643. The rental and ownership rates in Connecticut are almost identical to the national average. The percentage of home owners in Connecticut being 66.8%, a mere .6 percent above the national average of 66.2%. The median value of a home in Connecticut is well above the national average, with the median value of a home in Connecticut being $166,900. This is almost half again as much as the national average of $119,600. Both of these figures are from the 2000 census, and while they may be six years old, they reflect trends and price structures that remain similar in 2006. Connecticut is an affluent state, with the median household income in 1999 being $53,935, as compared to the national average of $41,994.

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A new influx of funding has revived a program that helps people to buy and renovate homes in low income neighborhoods. Local lenders are stepping up to increase homeownership in cities including New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport.

As of the first of May, qualified buyers can apply for the “UR Home” program, which provides rehabilitation loans along with Connecticut Housing Finance Authority first mortgages. Lenders participating in the scheme include People’s Bank, Savings Institute Bank & Trust and Webster Bank. People’s bank wrote 166 loans under the 2001 pilot program making it the top lender in the state for UR Home. Fifteen of those loans went to People’s employees, which supports the state’s goal of getting people to live in the cities where they work to cut down on congestion.

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UR Home offers 30 year fixed-rate mortgages and deferred loans of up to $20,000 for rehabilitation of one family houses. There are no income limits on the mortgages available, and both public and private sector employees are eligible for consideration. Rehabilitation work covered under the program includes structural repairs, upgrades such as the installation of sprinklers in older homes and energy saving innovations like insulation and weather stripping.

The money to revive the program, which started as a pilot effort five years ago, originates from a settlement between the state’s Department of Banking and lender Ameriquest. After it was accused of imposing wrongful finance charges, Ameriquest agreed as part of a settlement with the state to fund the Connecticut Housing Assistance Fund. Ameriquest provides $1 million in seed money, later followed by five more $1 million payouts ending in 2010.

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