Hagerstown homeownership grant program becomes more accessible

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — After two years of dealing with a pandemic, many people just need a break in one way or another. So the city of Hagerstown has made buying a home more accessible for its residents.

Homeownership grants are available through the “Invest Hagerstown Program,” which allows the city to buy vacant homes, renovate them, and sell them to qualified lower-income buyers. Due to input from Hagerstown’s city council, some of the barriers to the program have been cut down or removed entirely.

“Among some of the changes that you’ll find in front of you is extending the eligible properties to include single-family attached or detached dwellings — so that’s going to be any single-family home, townhome, condo, duplex, what have you,” said Christopher Siemerling, economic development specialist. “As well as establishing a priority for first-time homebuyers or current renters.”

Other changes to the program include:

  • Removing the 12-month vacancy requirement.
  • Removing the “built prior to 1960” property age requirement.
  • Removing rehabilitation expenses as an eligible use of the grant funding.
  • Requiring applications to be submitted 30 days prior to settlement versus 15 business days.
  • Clarifying that the program is loan to grant, and no payments would be required to the City if conditions
    are met.

To take the first step towards getting one of the city’s grants, call your preferred bank to see if you can be pre-qualified for a mortgage.

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