Last week, the Community Loan Fund closed on a $300,000 loan to the Albany County Rural Housing Alliance to support affordable housing. The funds will be used to assist the organization’s HOME program, which helps first time homebuyers purchase homes in rural communities like Berne, Knox, New Scotland, and Coeymans.

“The Line of Credit from Community Loan fund allowed our agency to assist six low and moderate first time home buyers with the purchase of a home within Albany County,” says Tracy Gibeau, Executive Director of Albany County Rural Housing Alliance.

The HOME Down Payment Assistance Program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to low and very-low income homebuyers. To be eligible, home buyers must earn 80% or less than the area median income. They must also contribute $1,500 of their own savings and take an approved home buyer education class. The program also provides funding for some moderate rehabbing of homes.

The program is funded through a federal HUD grant program. “The grant is a reimbursable program and our agency would not have the capital to close on more than one loan at a time without this loan. The line of credit allows us to assist multiple people at the same time while also preserving our capital that may be needed for other programs,” says Gibeau.

The HOME program has been in existence since 1982 and has been successfully helping low-income individuals buy homes since then. The organization provides grants ranging from $34,000 to $75,000, which can be used to purchase and fix up older homes and keep them in productive use. Buying a home also helps low-income individuals build assets and improve their financial health. The program has helped 39 low to moderate-income families purchase homes since 2011.

Ultimately, the program is building more stable communities – one restored farmhouse at a time.