Governor Pat Quinn today addressed the annual Illinois Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing where he discussed the state's commitment to affordable homeownership and his new Welcome Home Illinois loan program for first-time homebuyers. The mortgage assistance package has seen significant interest since its launch in March -- so far 384 Illinois residents have reserved $46 million in total financing. The conference is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to drive Illinois' economy forward by improving access to affordable housing.
"Illinois has come a long way since the economy crashed, and the housing market continues to play a big role in driving our state's recovery," Governor Quinn said. "Making sure people have access to homes and apartments they can afford is critical. That's why today homebuyers can turn to our Welcome Home Illinois program for an opportunity to make homeownership a reality. Investing in affordable homeownership will build and protect the middle class, while providing more stability to families and communities."
The new loan program provides first-time homebuyers $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.875 percent for a secure, 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Generating interest at a faster pace than other IHDA programs, the timing is perfect for Welcome Home Illinois, tailored to working families, with borrower income limits up to 140 percent of the area median income (AMI) as the spring buying cycle hits its stride. More than 47,000 interested residents have visited the Welcome Home Illinois website and local homebuyers are quickly recognizing the program for its historically low rates, currently at 3.875 percent, which is well below the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.47 percent.
For more information on Welcome Home Illinois, please visit WelcomeHomeIllinois.gov.
Under Governor Quinn's leadership, financing from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has created 14,500 full time jobs in construction and construction-related industries since 2009. This activity also generated more than $1.2 billion in federal, state and local taxes, as well as local business income and wages. The IHDA is a major contributor to the financial health of the state during a crucial time in Illinois' economic recovery.
"Our members are proud to partner with IHDA to build and rehab homes and apartments across the state," Illinois Housing Council Executive Director Andrea Traudt said. "The sharing of experiences and best practices at this event helps us in our mission to make Illinois a better place to live and work through the construction and preservation of affordable housing."
The conference also honors the state's partners who create and sustain affordable housing for families, veterans, senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Innovative developments and initiatives made possible with state funding are recognized for the impact they have on their local communities.
"There is no greater friend to affordable housing in Illinois than Governor Quinn," IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. "Housing affects almost every aspect of a person's life, including access to jobs, transportation, education and healthcare. Under the direction of Governor Quinn, IHDA has stepped up to the challenges of today's housing market to make a real difference in peoples' lives."
Governor Quinn's leadership in affordable housing includes:
Launching the Welcome Home Illinois program, a strong benefits package for first-time homebuyers with $7,500 in down payment assistance and a below-market interest rate currently at 3.875 percent.
Helping 6,400 working families capitalize on historically low interest rates by accessing $724 million in IHDA mortgages and down payment assistance.
Declaring 2013 as the Year of Homeownership to emphasize the importance of housing in Illinois' economic recovery. Five new homeownership programs were launched during the year.
Targeting $130 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding for affordable housing, marking the first time this state funding source has been dedicated to housing.
Providing safe and affordable rental options for a growing number of Illinois renters. IHDA has invested or leveraged $2.5 billion to create and preserve 19,700 affordable rental homes in 257 developments since 2009.
Helping persons with disabilities or special needs live with freedom, choice and dignity by financing the creation of more than 2,000 units of new permanent supportive housing.
Investing $150 million to bring 1,000 vacant properties back to productive use and to save 375 homes in targeted communities.
Committing more than $327 million in federal mortgage assistance from the Illinois Hardest Hit program so that 12,500 families could stay in their homes.
The IHDA (www.ihda.org) is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated $12.4 billion and financed approximately 240,000 affordable units across the state.
The two-day Conference on Affordable Housing is co-sponsored by IHDA and the Illinois Housing Council, and draws more than 700 developers, non-profit organizations, community development corporations, legislators and other partners dedicated to the success of affordable housing in Illinois. Representatives from IHDA, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development all participate in the event's panel discussions and workshops.