Governor Pat Quinn today launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to promote homeownership for Illinois Veterans, active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members. The financing package is available statewide, and provides a forgivable grant up to $10,000 toward the purchase of a new home, as well as an additional mortgage tax credit up to $20,000 over the life of the loan. Welcome Home Heroes will make homeownership even more affordable for thousands of military families and create more than 400 jobs throughout Illinois.
"The Welcome Home Heroes program honors and celebrates those who safeguard our freedom by providing them with an affordable path to homeownership," Governor Quinn said. "Our servicemembers returning home from overseas deserve our help as they put down roots in their community and begin building a civilian life with their families."
Welcome Home Heroes is open to all qualified Illinois Veterans. Active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members must be first-time buyers. The Welcome Home Heroes homebuyer financing package includes a forgivable $10,000 grant for down-payment and closing cost assistance, an affordable interest rate (4 percent as of today) for a secure 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and a mortgage credit certificate worth up to approximately $20,000 for the life of the loan.
"Welcome Home Heroes furthers Governor Quinn's commitment to sustaining affordable homeownership opportunities available through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)," said IHDA Executive Director Mary Kenney. "IHDA has helped nearly 60,000 low- to moderate-income families buy a home, and now we can help even more families attain homeownership."
Welcome Home Heroes is funded through $5 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funds and $5 million from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund. In addition to creating homeownership opportunities, the Welcome Home Heroes financing package will stimulate statewide economic activity. The $10 million investment will generate an estimated:
405 full-time jobs
$16.7 million from real estate-related industries
More than $5.3 million in economic activity for the state
Additional $10.6 million in other statewide spending
"Many National Guard, Reserve and active-duty Soldiers come back from deployment and face hard times," said Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "Programs such as this homeownership initiative will go a long way toward helping these men and women achieve the American dream. They fought for it and they deserve it."
"As Veterans transition to civilian life, the Welcome Home Heroes homebuyer package assists those who want to find a safe and affordable way to buy a home," said Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Erica Borggren.
Welcome Home Heroes program builds on IHDA's existing affordable home loan program, SmartMove, also available through IHDA's lenders. Income thresholds and purchase price limits apply. Administered by the IHDA, the package applies to 1-2 unit residential properties that are located in the State of Illinois and are purchased as a primary residence.
Interested Veterans, servicemembers and their families can contact a lender in their area to apply. The Welcome Home Heroes application is free. A list of lenders is available at www.ihda.org/homeowner/heroes.htm.