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Initiative offers down payment assistance for home buyers saddled with student loan debt

5/11/2015, 10:30 a.m.
Governor Larry Hogan recently announced a $20 million initiative that will give a boost to otherwise qualified buyers who have ...

— Governor Larry Hogan recently announced a $20 million initiative that will give a boost to otherwise qualified buyers who have been unable to move into homeownership because of significant student debt.

Through the “You’ve Earned It!” initiative, the Maryland Mortgage Program is offering a 2.75 percent fixed rate, 30-year mortgage and $10,000 in down payment assistant to qualified homebuyers with more than $25,000 in student loan debt. The program is open for a limited time to families purchasing a home in one of Maryland’s 82 Sustainable Communities.

“Encouraging young families to establish roots in our state through homeownership is one of the best ways to grow our economy in the near and long term. Owning a home helps families create a financial legacy for their children; it stabilizes and brings new economic life into the state’s communities, and it puts the power of the housing market to work to revitalize the state’s economy,” Governor Hogan said. “This initiative will help strengthen our economy by helping a key demographic, members of the Millennial Generation, move out of their parents’ homes and into homeownership.”

Secretary Kenneth Holt announced the initiative in Rockville at the annual Affordable Housing Conference of Montgomery County as he delivered the keynote address on behalf of Governor Hogan, who was unable to attend because of events in Baltimore.

“The events of those past few days remind us of the importance of Governor Hogan’s commitment to revitalizing communities and rebuilding our economy so that we can change Maryland for the better,” Secretary Holt told more than 600 elected officials, housing and community development leaders, business professionals and housing advocates. “This is neither a Republican goal nor a Democratic goal. It is a Maryland goal.”

The program is aimed at assisting potential buyers, particularly members of the

so-called “Boomerang Generation,” who are employed and have good credit but are saddled with student debt that is proving a barrier to homeownership. These young people are more likely to live with their parents than were young people one or two decades ago and they are saddled with significantly more student loan debt than in the past.

“The 'You’ve Earned It' initiative unlocks the buying power of these young homebuyers and help them establish roots in our state, providing a significant boost to Maryland’s housing market and the overall state economy,” Governor Hogan said.

Maryland’s Sustainable Communities program seeks to strengthen reinvestment and revitalization in the state’s older communities through state, local and private sector partnerships. There is at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.