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‘Buy in Nye’: $400k earmarked for homeownership assistance

The Nevada Rural Housing Authority is well-known for its Home At Last program and the organization is now working to launch a brand new off-shoot of that program geared specifically toward assisting Nye County residents in their pursuit of purchasing their own home.

Dubbed “Buy in Nye,” the proposal was presented to the Nye County Commission this week along with a request for the funding needed to operate it. Diane Arvizo, director of homeownership programs for NRHA, was on hand to explain the concept and provide an overview of just how the requested $400,000 in American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, monies would be used.

“The American Rescue Plan funding creates a unique opportunity to deliver help to homebuyers at a time when it is urgently needed,” Arvizo said. “With mortgage rates more than doubling in just the last few months and inflation giving Nevada households a punch in the gut, the likelihood of obtaining an affordable mortgage appears farther out of reach for many of our rural Nevadans.”

Arvizo explained that NRHA has already been granted $2.5 million from the state of Nevada to help fund rural downpayment assistance but she feels that a program exclusive to Nye County would provider a greater benefit.

“For Nye County, coming off the heels of the pandemic and with intense market shifts that have caused turmoil and instability in the markets, our traditional downpayment assistance programs cannot function the way they have previously… That requires our ability to price the cost of assistance into the mortgage rate and that just cannot be done. The American Rescue Plan Act comes at the perfect time. We can put Nye County’s $400,000 of ARPA funding to work right away to bridge the widening gaps for your local residents impacted the most,” Arvizo detailed, adding, “And the Buy in Nye program will have exclusive access to the mortgage tax credit program offered through NRHA.”

As proposed, the Buy in Nye program will support the financing of single-family units, townhomes, condos and manufactured homes converted to real property, as well as two- and four-unit properties so long as the applicant will use one of the units as their primary residence.

The program will provide a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate, underwritten by participating lenders. Households making up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines quality so long as their credit score is at least 680 for manufactured home loans or 640 for all other loans and they have no history of homeownership in the last three years.

The presentation outlined a $16,000 allocation for downpayment assistance per qualified household, for a total of 25 households. However, Arvizo asked that the commissioners amend that to allow for more flexibility within the program. That way, a portion of the funding could be used to “buy down” interest rates for borrowers, helping them save money in the long run.

Commissioner Leo Blundo made the motion to amend and approve the $400,000 grant agreement, which passed with all in favor.

Arvizo noted that NRHA will be launching the program in the next few weeks and will keep Nye County updated on a quarterly basis as to how it is proceeding.

For more information on NRHA visit www.NVRural.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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