Locals inquire about housing assistance

The number of programs to help distressed homeowners, potential home buyers and renters is confusing, but Pahrump residents got some help finding out what was available during the Aug. 9 Housing Helpdesk at the NyE Communities Coalition multipurpose room, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev. and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Karen Lee LeTourneau said she wanted to talk to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about Section 8 housing.

“They can help me with deposit money. I don’t have a down payment and there’s resources for that I found out today and there’s credit repair resources that I’m going to utilize,” she said.

Charlie Hart, a veteran, was busy talking to the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. NRHA Mortgage and Marketing Specialist Allison Rachiell said they were busy on Saturday morning.

“We are able to help people with down payment assistance so they can get into a home without having to come up with any down payment and our Section 8 program helps people get into homes with subsidized rental assistance,” Rachiell said.

“They helped me as far as acquiring a home and we are getting the information out. We met these wonderful people where we can get more involved in more programs, it was very helpful,” Hart said.

While veterans get special breaks like zero down on buying a home, Hart said the Veterans Administration still requires them to get their credit score up.

“With the USDA you can have zero credit and they will help you,” he said. “There are ways to get credit and assistance and credit-building programs. So they’ve been very helpful.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development had information about section 504 repair and rehabilitation loans at 1 percent annually for low income homeowners with an acceptable credit history. By low income they mean a single person making up to $23,100 or four people making a combined income of $33,000.

USDA rural development was also offering information about home ownership programs for low income rural families with no down payment, typically for 33 years.

A Pahrump resident, Tim Baer, was quoted in a brochure for the Nevada Hardest Hit Fund, which provides mortgage assistance for people who are unemployed and looking for work. Nevada, which has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation, was selected to be one of the beneficiaries of the program offered by the U.S. Treasury Department, the state was given $194 million.

“The Nevada Hardest Hit Fund has been a life saver. With their help, we have been able to make our mortgage payment, get back on our feet and keep our home,” Baer said.

Horsford’s district director Detrick Sanford said the congressman sponsored similar housing outreach activities in the Las Vegas area.

“Just today we’ve seen over 30 individuals, individuals that are looking for affordable housing, reverse mortgage assistance, underwater (mortgage) assistance, credit repair, just different issues people are experiencing,” Sanford said. “We do have a staff person who works closely with the mortgage companies in making those requests so we do everything we can possible to make sure they can get refinances, lower payments, we work with the constituents to do that.”

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