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Looking to Buy a Home in Metro Detroit? Find Out How to Get a $15K Forgivable Loan

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Image credit: MSHDA

Step Forward Down Payment Assistance is available in 36 tri-county zipcodes

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Additional money is coming to help people purchase homes in areas of Michigan hit hard by the mortgage crisis. The Step Forward Down Payment Assistance program launched in October with $20 million. As of December 28, $5 million was added to the fund.

The program offers a loan of up to $15,000 per household to go towards the purchase of a house in 61 eligible zipcodes statewide. After the home is purchased, twenty percent of the loan is forgiven each year. Once five years have passed, the loan is discharged if the purchasers still own and occupy the property as their primary residence.

It’s been a very successful program,” says Mary Townley, director of homeownership at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). She says 148 homes have already been purchased with the assistance offered. “The mission of the program is to help stimulate sales in those areas that are still reflecting difficulty.”

The 61 chosen zipcodes have higher-than-average numbers for the state in terms of foreclosures, bank-owned properties, short sales and other factors that indicate a slow recovery from the mortgage crisis. More than half of the eligible zipcodes are located in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties.

The program is not available for houses that cost more than $224,500 or for homes to be purchased using cash. The buyer must have a credit score of at least 640 and income limits apply. More details about eligibility can be found here.

WDET’s Laura Herberg spoke with Townley about the program. Click on the audio player at the top of this page to hear that conversation.


Eligible Zipcodes in Metro Detroit


48015, 48021, 48048, 48066, 48089, 48091


48030, 48033, 48075, 48340, 48341, 48342


48111, 48122, 48125, 48135, 48141, 48146, 48174, 48180, 48184, 48192, 48195, 48205, 48214, 48215, 48219, 48221, 48223, 48224, 48225, 48227, 48228, 48235, 48239, 48240

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Laura Herberg, Reporter

Laura Herberg is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here. She is a proud homeowner in Highland Park, Mich.

laura.herberg@wdet.org Follow @HerbergRadio

Detroit Journalism Cooperative

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at detroitjournalism.org.

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



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