Home Ownership and Common Wealth Development

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Lease Purchase Program

The goal of the Lease-Purchase Program is to help first time home buyers become home owners and maintain long term housing affordability through a shared appreciation model.  This program is designed to assist persons who could not otherwise afford to purchase a home without assistance. Since 1999, Common Wealth has purchased, rehabbed and re-sold 25 properties to first time lower-income homebuyers. Most of the homes are two-unit properties. Some houses are single family. In addition to Common Wealth’s goal of providing affordable home ownership opportunities, staff also provides one-on-one home ownership counseling. Usually a Lease-Purchase Program potential homebuyer lives in one apartment while the other apartment in the building is rented. A Lease-Purchase Program resident may lease for up to three years with an option to buy. A portion of the resident’s rent is deposited into a down payment account. Common Wealth provides 0% second mortgage financing which helps to reduce housing costs. Once the Lease-Purchase Program resident buys the house they collect rent from and maintain the other apartment in their building. A shared appreciation agreement helps keep these Lease-Purchase Program houses affordable into the future for low to moderate-income households. To qualify for this program, a person must be a first-time homebuyer, and their household income must be under 80% of Dane County Median Income adjusted for household size. As of January 2012, 80% household income for a two-person household is $52,000 and a four-person household income is $65,000.


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