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County program will help HUD recipients buy homes

By Staff | Sep 10, 2009

Seth McKinney (left), Hawaii general manager for Hurley, and Mia Brandon (right), Hurley Lahaina store manager, recently presented a check to Lahainaluna High School Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch for $6,000. Hurley, a Southern California-based surfwear company, made a special-edition Lahainaluna boardshort, and a portion of the proceeds were earmarked for the Lahainaluna Athletic Department.

WAILUKU — A new program will help qualified families in Maui County currently receiving Section 8 HUD Housing Choice Voucher assistance to purchase homes of their own.

Administered by the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns’ Housing Division, the Homeownership Option Program (HOP) will allow Section 8 HUD rental assistance participants to apply rental housing assistance payments toward mortgage payments.

The program will work in partnership with community organizations, government agencies and businesses to increase home ownership for low-income families, the county reported.

To facilitate the HOP application process, Housing Division staff will hold informational workshops in late October throughout Maui County. Tentatively, workshops are scheduled for Central Maui, Upcountry, Lahaina and Molokai.

All of Maui County’s 1,360 Housing Choice Voucher Program participants will receive an invitation and registration form for the workshops. Deadline to mail in registration forms is Tuesday, Sept. 15.

To qualify for HOP, applicants must be participating in Maui’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, be a first-time home buyer, meet minimum income and work requirements and have the financial means to pay closing costs. Applicants must be in compliance with the terms of their lease and the rules of the Housing Choice Voucher program, and must not have any outstanding balances owed to the County of Maui.

Each participant must be able to qualify for a mortgage loan and locate an affordable property to purchase. To qualify for a home loan, participants should have a very good credit history and a stable income for approximately two years.

Anyone interested in HOP is strongly encouraged to start preparing now to meet loan qualification requirements or consult with a mortgage-lending institution. For credit repair and money management issues, consult a Consumer Credit Counseling Service.

For more information, contact Housing Specialist Stephanie Franco at 270-7185 or stephanie.franco@mauicounty.gov.