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Homebuyer successful through Joplin Homebuyers Assistance Progra - KOAM TV 7

Homebuyer successful through Joplin Homebuyers Assistance Program

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE CITY OF JOPLIN

Homebuyer successful through Joplin Homebuyers Assistance Program

Today, City officials joined other team members of the Joplin Homebuyers Assistance Program (J-HAP) in welcoming Amanda Harlin into her newly purchased home. Harlin is the first participant to complete the J-HAP process and was recognized for this during a Press Conference held at her home.

“J-HAP is such a blessing,” said Harlin. “I want everyone to know about this program.”

With 7,500 homes damaged or destroyed by the May 2011 tornado, City officials recognized the need to create resources to provide affordable options for those affected, as well as others looking to purchase a home, and reached out to community partners to develop J-HAP.

The program was implemented in August to assist homebuyers with down payments and closing costs, as well as help homeowners build equity in their house. Funding assistance for this program is being provided from the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grant provided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City.

“J-HAP was developed through the work of many partners in our community in order to help our citizens get back into a home following the disaster,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “In addition, it also provides resources that can offer benefits to others in purchasing a home in Joplin. Our rebuilding efforts are ongoing, and many want to be a part of this community. J-HAP extends some possible advantages in buying a home in Joplin.”

The J-HAP is not limited to first-time homebuyers or those affected by the tornado, although there are certain federal requirements that must be met to be eligible for the use of this J-HAP funded forgivable loan.

In the development of this program, a series of meetings were held with different community partners, including lenders, the Ozark Gateway Association of Realtors, the Home Builders Association of Southwest Missouri, and nonprofit organizations to seek their input in developing this opportunity to assist potential homeowners. Following the program’s rollout, outreach meetings with these groups provide more information to assist in the successful delivery of J-HAP to potential applicants.

“In working with our realtors and lenders, I understand that there are several other homebuyers who will be closing on their properties in the near future,” said Jonathan Raiche, who manages the program for the City as the Assistant City Planner. “Getting our citizens into homes is a team effort and we appreciate the work of all who are a part of this program.”

Since its launch, approximately 200 applications have been distributed, and approximately 50 are in varying steps of review.

“This is an ongoing program,” said Rohr. “We encourage those interested in building or purchasing a home in Joplin to learn more about J-HAP and other resources that community organizations are offering. We are determined to help our citizens. We also have set a goal of increasing our population, and this is just another reason that people may want to consider Joplin. Those of us already here know it is a great place to live, work and play, and now others may experience this.”

Current residents and those interested in moving to Joplin can learn more about the J-HAP qualifications and guidelines by logging onto the City’s CDBG-DR website under the J-HAP information link at http://www.joplinmo.org/cdbg-dr or call Economic Security Corporation at 417-781-0352 or 417-627-2046. A J-HAP Application Packet may obtained by submitting a request to Economic Security Corporation by e-mail at joplinhomebuyer@escswa.org or it can also be picked up at their office located 302 S. Joplin Ave, Joplin, Missouri.

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