The Missouri Housing Development Commission has approved a plan in which Missouri families making less than $98,000 a year who buy a home in 2010 would receive a reimbursement to cover $1,250 of their property tax bill. Another $500 would be available if the new homeowner invests in energy-saving home improvements or appliances.
The program is called HOPE — home ownership purchase enhancement. Funds would come from $15 million in reserves held by the MHDC from balances achieved from the management of mortgage loans. The funds would cover the property taxes for between 9,000 and 11,000 families on a first-come, first-served basis.
Eligibility for the program is based on income guidelines connected to the geographic region where the home sale takes place. The income range for individuals or families who could qualify is between $58,300 and $98,560. The home-buying incentive comes on top of existing federal incentives that provide a tax credit for first-time home buyers as well as another credit for buyers who have owned their current homes for five years. Those credits are scheduled to expire in April.
The housing commission is a quasi-government agency that finances the creation of home loan funds through the sale of low-interest bonds. The program approved today does not require approval by the legislature.
The commission also approved providing $5 million for its program that provides cash assistance for loans for first-time homebuyers to cover down payments and closing costs.