New affordable home loan program in Columbia offers low down payments for low credit scores

Affordable Housing Loan coming

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The City of Columbia wants to make it easier for you to become a homeowner. For some people, buying a home may sound like an overwhelming process, but the City Lender Uplift Program wants to help make home ownership a reality.

At a press conference Tuesday, Mayor Steve Benjamin and members of the city’s Community Development Department will announce a new loan program offering low down payments and closing cost assistance, even for those with low credit scores.

The issue of finding affordable housing in the area came to light after the incident at Allen Benedict Court Apartments last month. Hundreds of residents were displaced after two tenants were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning, and the Columbia Fire Department deemed the apartments unsafe. While the city continues to work to find many of those residents permanent housing, they say they also want to offer everyone in the community the chance at home ownership.

Felicia Kilgore is a Loan Officer Supervisor with the City of Columbia’s Community Development Department. She says, “We know that there’s been some issues with the housing market with the Allen Benedict situation. I heard a client actually say – one of the residents – saying that he was paying around $500 a month for housing. You know, with that dollar amount, he can get into home ownership. We’ve been able to assist many individuals and families with keeping their payments down as low as $500 or so.”

Through the City Lender Uplift Program, approved applicants can expect payments as low as $500 per month for a $100,000 loan.

“We do take pride in assisting individuals who feel as if that this task, being able to own their own home, is too daunting for them. We kind of break it down for them in many, bitty steps for them to kind of show them how this is a feasible task that they can do. Very low down payment, $500 down. Very minimum credit score requirement, 600 and we provide some closing cost assistance which is huge for the working class individuals,” Kilgore said.

Tuesday’s press conference will begin at 10:30 a.m. at 1225 Lady Street in Columbia.

To speak with a loan officer, call: 803-545-3373.

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