Use Your Voucher to Make Home Mortgage Payments
The Grand Rapids Housing Commission (GRHC) offers eligible Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher recipients the opportunity to use their Housing Assistance Payment toward a home mortgage payment rather than housing rental expenses. Working with West Michigan lenders and realtors, we have designed a flexible, supportive program that provides not only administrative assistance but also information families can use to plan and finance their home purchase.
2021 Orientation Meetings Scheduled
The GRHC is offering free Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program orientation meetings. The June meeting will be virtual and a link to the online meeting will be provided to those who register to attend. The format for the September and December meetings is not yet finalized.
- 6/15/21, 2:00 p.m.*
- 9/21/21, 2:00 p.m.
- 12/14/21, 2:00 p.m.
Register for the June 15 Section 8 Homeownership Program orientation meeting
*Registration for the June 15 Orientation Meeting is now closed. Registration for the September 21 Orientation Meeting will open on July 1.
Program Eligibility Requirements
Participants in the GRHC’s Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program must:
- Have received Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance through the GRHC for at least one year and be in good standing with the GRHC.
- Have an annual income of at least $14,500 ($8,520 for families in which the head of household is disabled). Welfare assistance is counted as income for seniors and the disabled.
- Head of household must be employed at the same job for the past year (waived for senior citizens and the disabled).
- Be a first-time home buyer as defined by HUD and Fair Housing guidelines.
- Agree to use the home as a sole residence, having no ownership interest in any other home.
- Enter into a Statement of Homeowner Obligations agreement and comply with all provisions of that agreement.
- Complete the formal application process and meet all lender and GRHC program requirements.
GRHC staff will help current Housing Choice Voucher recipients determine whether they meet all eligibility requirements and provide detailed application information to qualified families.
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Homes Eligible for Purchase
- Must be a single-family home.
- Must pass both a HUD Housing Quality Standards inspection and an independent professional inspection.
The Home Purchase Process
Once the GRHC determines that a Housing Choice Voucher recipient is eligible to participate in the program, we issue the family a Homeownership Certificate. The family must:
- Complete home ownership classes prior to purchasing a home. Classes cover such topics as budgeting and pre-purchase home inspections.
- Locate a home to purchase. The purchase process must comply with HUD and GRHC requirements that are fully explained during the application process.
- Find a GRHC-approved lender who agrees to finance the home purchase. Our staff helps program participants identify potential lenders.
- Obtain a HUD Housing Quality Standards inspection as well as an independent professional inspection of the home.
- Enter into a sales contract and finalize the home purchase.
Once a family has closed on a home purchase, the GRHC sends a predetermined Housing Assistance Payment to the family each month. Program participants are responsible for contributing their share of the mortgage payment and making the total monthly payment to their lender.
Continuing Homeowner Requirements
To continue to receive Housing Assistance Payments through the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program, a participating family must comply with the terms of its mortgage and all GRHC program requirements. These include:
- Maintaining the condition of the home in compliance with HUD Housing Quality Standards.
- Complying with use and occupancy standards:
- The home must be the family’s only residence.
- The family cannot have an ownership interest in any other property.
- The family must report changes in the composition of its household to the GRHC.
- The family cannot sublet or lease the home.
- Recertifying for the Homeownership Program each year. Program participants must recertify annually to continue receiving assistance.
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