Sneed: Quinn to launch state mortgage program for first-time home buyers

Written By By Michael Sneed Posted: 03/30/2014, 02:26am
Array CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn walks home after voting in the state's primary election on March 18, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Quinn faces a challenge from Tio Hardiman, the former leader of anti-violence group CeaseFire Illinois, in the Democratic primary. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 479762119

Sneed exclusive . . .

Gov. Pat Quinn is throwing out the welcome mat!

Sneed has learned Quinn plans to announce a new state-subsidized mortgage loan program Monday for first-time Illinois home buyers.

“This program is not for millionaires,” Quinn told Sneed.

“This is for everyday people, living check to check, who once didn’t have a shot at becoming a homeowner because of the economic downturn.”

“Now they will have that chance,” said Quinn, who has titled the mortgage plan the Welcome Home Illinois Loan Program.

“There is a pent-up demand by young people who weren’t able to buy a home due to the economic crash,” he said, “And we project this plan will help thousands of prospective home buyers.

“Hey, it’s the first sign of spring and when people start looking to buy a home — and that’s why we are announcing it next week,” he added.

◆ Fact: The plan will give eligible first-time home buyers a 30-year fixed mortgage offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority at below market interest rates, according to Quinn. (Right now, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage charges 4.4 percent interest.)

◆ Fact: It will also offer a forgivable loan of $7,500, secured by a second mortgage, to help with the down payment or closing costs. At minimum, borrowers must contribute the greater of one percent of the purchase price or $1,000 toward the down payment.

◆ Fact: This program is only for first-time home buyers, or anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years, and has at least a credit score of 640.

◆ Fact: Maximum incomes allowed depend on where the property is and family size. A Cook County household of one or two people must earn less than $90,960 to be eligible, according to Quinn’s office.

◆ Fact: Only single-family homes or two flats qualify, and the residence can’t cost more than $378,461 within Cook County, though the maximum purchase price varies county to county.

◆ Fact: Quinn claims the program will be funded with $130 million from the capital budget — set aside five years ago for the Illinois Housing Development Authority to use on housing construction and mortgage subsidies.

◆ Back shot: The housing authority used U.S. Bank to vet the more than 125 lenders across the state that will participate.

“It’s a pretty good deal,” Quinn said.

The program, which will be announced Monday at a news conference in Springfield, will begin on April 1.

Quinn, who claims he has been working on the project with mortgage brokers and Illinois realtors, credits Mary Kenney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, for putting the program together.

Not fond of being described as a populist, Quinn recently hired a new chief campaign strategist, Bill Hyers, campaign manager for newly elected populist New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Oh la la!

Voila! Now comes word the publisher of French tabloid Closer just got the door shut in their face.

◆ Translation: The mag has been ordered to pay French actress Julie Gayet $20,628 for photographs they printed of her and French President Francois Hollande claiming to prove the two were having an affair.

◆ Aftershot: Hollande, who did not confirm or deny the reports, announced soon afterwards he and first consort Valerie Trierweiler were splitting.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday’s birthdays: Elle Macpherson, 50; Eric Idle, 71, and Perry Farrell, 55 . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Celine Dion, 46; Eric Clapton, 69, and Tracy Chapman, 50.

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