The REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. is working to strengthen our community by promoting responsible homeownership. We have established a Housing Foundation to provide assistance to workers in our community who can qualify for SHIP monies but may be short closing costs, especially if the property does not contain appliances, is in “as is” condition or the lender has included additional closing costs on the property. The Housing Foundation will provide up to $6,000 per transaction in financial assistance towards home purchase.
The goal of this program is to strengthen our community and local economy by providing tools and resources to potential homebuyers to make home ownership feasible. In doing so, we will also strengthen the Greater Fort Myers Community by assisting workers in realizing the dream of homeownership at a time when properties are affordable and neighborhood blight is an economic liability and deterrent to growth. Homebuyers can download an application HERE.
Applications will be received by the Housing Foundation Board of Directors and sent to non-profit partners for loan approval and processing (process to be completed within 10 business days). Monies that are provided by the Housing Foundation for purchase assistance will be distributed as a loan. A 10-year second or third mortgage will be placed on the property being purchased. This mortgage will be self-amortizing and will reduce at a rate of 10% per year. As long as the property is occupied as a primary residence and homesteaded for the ten-year term, a satisfaction of mortgage will be given and the loan will not have to be repaid. However, if during the 10-year term the property is sold, transferred, leased, or first mortgage is refinanced, or is not owner-occupied and homesteaded, then the prorated balance of the second or third mortgage will be due and payable.
There are several qualifications for applicant’s to meet in order to receive funds: Applicant cannot own any other homes and agrees to occupy the property as the principal homesteaded residence. Applicant must have executed a purchase contract of an existing single family home in an unincorporated area of Lee County. Applicant must have a gross annual household income which does not exceed the limits set forth by HUD/SHIP (see income range below).
1 person: $12,950-51,840 5 person: $20,000-79,920
2 person: $14,800-59,160 6 person: $21,500-85,800
3 person: $16,650-66,600 7 person: $22,950-91,680
4 person: $18,500-73,920 8 person: $24,450-97,680
Note: Maximum price of a new or existing house is $312, 276.
Applications will be ranked based on several factors: pre-approval for a loan; household income within income levels to qualify for financial assistance; and completion of 8-hour Homebuyer Education. Our non-profit partner(s) will review applications, determine the applicant’s ranking and make a recommendation to the Housing Foundation’s Board of Directors for loan approval. Homebuyer Education is a requirement. FHA research indicates that 80% of homebuyers who attended mandatory homebuyer counseling did not default on their mortgage. Homebuyer Education will be offered at our Education Center monthly (in both English and Spanish). Homebuyers wishing to attend Homebuyer Education can sign up with Lee County Housing Development Corporation at 239/275-5105. Questions? Doreen Herring at email@example.com.
Affordable housing is safe and decent housing. It differs from market rate housing in two ways:
- The income of the family living in the housing
- The financing of the housing
WHAT IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING?
Affordable housing is defined in terms of the income of the people living in the home. The family must be income eligible. Income eligibility is defined in terms of area median income, adjusted for family size.
- Extremely low income describes a family at or below 30% of area median income
- Very low income describes a family at or below 50% of area median income
- Low income describes a family at or below 80% of area median income
- Moderate income describes a family at or below 120% of area median income (at or below 100% of median income for federal programs)
The median income is determined by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) by County or Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Median incomes are updated annually by HUD; the Florida Housing Coalition posts an updated median income chart on its website www.flhousing.org.
Go to SHIP FAQ, Income Eligibility.
Affordable housing is safe and decent housing. If the housing stock in a community is substandard it should not be counted as a unit of affordable housing. In general, the income eligible household is said to be living in affordable housing when it spends no more than 30% of its income on either rent or mortgage payments. There is an assumption that if a very low to moderate income family is spending more than 30% of its income on housing costs, it will be cost burdened and not have enough money left over to pay for items such as utilities, transportation, food, clothing, and healthcare.