New mortgage program helps emergency responders buy homes

February 27, 2008

Mayor Holden and EBR Mortgage Authority say program to help retain personnel

BATON ROUGE—Mayor-President Kip Holden and Astrid Clements, chair of the East Baton Rouge Mortgage Finance Authority, announced today creation of a program to assist city police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, deputy city constables and certified EMS technicians in saving up to $17,456 when they purchase a home in the parish.

“The Public Safety Personnel program we are announcing today will benefit the brave men and women who help keep our community safe,” Holden said. “We are pleased that the East Baton Rouge Mortgage Finance Authority is able to provide this substantial benefit to our employees.”

The PSP Program is financed and administered by the Authority, which recently sold $20 million in bonds to provide reduced-cost mortgages for qualified middle-to-low income residents who purchase homes in East Baton Rouge Parish. The Authority has set aside $2.5 million of its bond sale for the PSP Program.

“The Authority sponsored a similar program 10 years ago, which was immensely popular,” Clements said. “This new program is even better for the borrowers, so we know it will help eligible public safety employees fulfill the American dream of home ownership. We are pleased to work with Mayor Holden in offering this program to our public safety employees.”

How much qualified public safety employees can save through the program depends on several factors, including the size of the mortgage they take out for a home in the parish. Under the program, the Authority will provide qualified employees with 5.875 percent mortgages (5.75 percent for FHA and VA loans)—one-half of a percentage point below rates normally offered by the Authority. In addition, the Authority will provide borrowers with assistance of 4 percent of the loan amount that they can use for closing costs and/or a down payment.

A borrower who takes out a typical $150,000 mortgage under the PSP Program could save $17,456 over the 30-year loan period, or $48.49 per month.

Family income limits under the PSP Program are the same as for others who qualify for mortgages with the Authority. Those maximum household income limits are:

Targeted Areas: One and two-person family, $67,440; Three or more person family; $78,680.

Non-targeted Areas: One and two-person family, $56,200; Three or more person family, $64,630.

The targeted areas are certain census tracts in which at least 70 percent of residents have incomes at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. The maximum home purchase price limits are $289,704 in targeted areas and $237,031 in non-targeted areas.

For the past 30 years, the EBR Mortgage Finance Authority has been a major contributor to home ownership and economic development in Baton Rouge by providing more than $914 million in mortgage loans to over 15,000 low- and moderate-income households. A Board of Trustees whose members are appointed to six-year terms by the Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge with concurrence of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metropolitan Council governs the Authority.

Members of the Board of Trustees are: Astrid Clements, chair; Loretta Pourciau, vice chair; Sidney M. Longwell Sr., secretary-treasurer; Randy J. Bonnecaze, Helena Cunningham, Robert W. Gaston III, William G. Gauthier Jr., and Jake L. Netterville. Ex-Officio Members are: Parish Attorney Wade Shows and Parish Director of Finance David Medlin.

Visit www.ebrmfa.org for more information about the EBR Mortgage Finance Authority.

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