A Guide To Available Resources and Programs
The shortage of moderately priced, affordable housing in the Southeast Missouri Region emerged as a major concern of the CEDS Committee during the process of developing our new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy in 2002. Committee members from throughout the region expressed concern that, while high-end housing was being built in their communities, there were few housing units being constructed to meet the needs of lower-wage or retired residents. Committee members felt that lack of affordable housing affected the Region’s ability to attract workers and retired people who might otherwise like to retire in the Southeast Missouri Region.
The staff was asked to compile and post on the Commission’s website a listing of public agencies, developers and other resources which are available to assist with the development of affordable housing. The Committee was also interested in tax-credit or other financing programs which could be used to encourage the rehabilitation of existing homes and the construction of affordable new housing. Listed below is a brief description of a number of agencies which assist with housing development. To access detailed information about the programs offered by each agency, simply click on the link in the agency title.
Established in 1934, HUD’s goal is to make home buying easier and more affordable. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a division of HUD, provides mortgage insurance on loans made through approved lenders. Almost any individual who has a satisfactory credit record, enough cash to close the loan, and sufficiently steady income to make monthly mortgage payments without difficulty can be approved for an FHA-insured mortgage. HUD can provide mortgage insurance for Low and Moderate Income Families and for the construction or rehabilitation of a broad range of rental housing.
The Rural Development program of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a variety of programs designed to assist in the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing. Through its Rural Housing program, USDA can make direct housing loans to low and very low income applicants to buy, build or repair homes, guarantee loans made by conventional lenders and make home repair grants to very low income senior citizen applicants.
USDA can also make loans to public bodies or not-for-profit entities to buy and develop lots, make self-help housing loans to groups of housing applicants who agree to work together to build their own homes, make grants to not-for-profit entities to provide technical assistance to self-help housing loan applicants to build their own homes, provide housing preservation grants to not-for-profit entities to operate programs which finance repair and rehabilitation activities to individual housing/rental properties for the very low and low-income property owners and guarantee loans to build apartments for moderate-income tenants.
Created by the Missouri General Assembly in 1969, the Missouri Housing Development Commission is committed to providing quality, safe, affordable housing for low and moderate income citizens of Missouri. MHDC does not build or renovate housing itself; rather, it functions as a bank, providing financing directly to borrowers or through a network of private lending institutions. Most of MHDC’s programs operate as public-private partnerships. Through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, MHDC can also provide a federal tax credit to investors to generate equity for housing developments.
Originally part of the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae is now a private, shareholder-owned company that works to make sure mortgage money is available for people across America. Fannie Mae does not lend money directly to home buyers. Instead, the company works with lenders to make sure they do not run out of mortgage money. Fannie Mae operates under a congressional charter which directs the company to channel its efforts into increasing the availability and affordability of homeownership for low, moderate, and middle-income Americans.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry which seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor – sweat equity – into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. There are currently two Habitat groups in the Region.
Follow the above link for a listing of developers who have recently completed housing projects in the Region and their contact information.