Monday April 2, 2007
Section 8 Program Helps Families Achieve the American Dream
Mayor Jerry Abramson and Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) today presented Tommy and Valarie Rider with keys to their new house at a ceremony celebrating the 100th home purchased through the Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s Section 8 Homeownership Program.
“Today is a special day for the Rider family as they achieve the American dream of home ownership,” Abramson said. “They have completed months of rigorous financial counseling and are now moving out of an apartment and into their own home.”
LMHA was the first organization in the nation to use Section 8 funding for mortgage payments as opposed to rent. Families in the program receive Section 8 vouchers or live in public housing at the time of enrollment. Once they purchase a home, the subsidies that were used to pay rent are used to subsidize the home mortgage.
“Louisville’s pioneering use of Section 8 vouchers is a model for the entire nation to follow,” Yarmuth said. “This is an outstanding accomplishment for our city, the Housing Authority, and most of all: the hard-working families.”
The average price for a home purchased through the program is almost $89,000. The homeowner pays about $460 a month while the government contributes about $330 to the payment. The government’s portion varies depending on income.
The program, which started in 1997, combines the subsidy with intensive post-purchase financial counseling and Individual Development Accounts. These accounts help cover home-maintenance costs to ensure asset appreciation and prevent foreclosure.
Program participants have an average income of $16,000 and are either disabled or working families with children who do not have a history of home ownership. Six of the 100 families who have purchased homes have already seen their incomes increase to the point where they no longer need subsidy assistance.
The following agencies and organizations worked in collaboration with LMHA and the Rider family to make this purchase possible: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Kentucky Housing Corporation, Louisville Metro Division of Housing and Community Development, The Housing Partnership Inc., Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, Citizens Union Bank, Annette Childers Realtors, Frank Fleck Builders and Superior Builders.