Grant Program Makes Home Ownership A Reality For Working Long Island Families

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Could you use $25,000 to buy a home? The money could be yours if you’re a first time home buyer on Long Island.

New York State is offering up $1,000,000 to combat the affordable housing crisis, and as CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, grants are now up for grabs.

Ru Jurow is a successful graphic artists with designs on a goal of home ownership, but that’s been impossible for her as a single mother of two on pricey Long Island.

“It’s pretty frustrating. you feel like you’re doing everything right and you still can’t afford the basic necessities,” she said.

That’s about to change.

“I’m really excited to have separate bedrooms for my children,” she said.

She will soon own a $260,000 Farmingville home. It was made possible with a down payment grant.

It’s money that’s available to other home buyers too.

The New York State Affordable Housing Corporation funds are now being divided up in $25,000 grants, It’s an unprecedented amount being allocated to Long Island. The non-profit Community Housing Innovations is taking applications now.

“A lot of people don’t realize they qualify for this housing. These grants are available to people making up to $95,000 a year in annual income,” Community Housing Innovations, executive director, Alexander Roberts explained.

The grants come with strings attached to ensure that new homeowners are responsible.

Jurow had to take a course.

“I learned everything. They walk you through in that eight hour course, everything about the home buying process,” she said.

At least half of the grant must pay for repairs to improve Long Island’s aging housing stock.

The impetus of the infusion of grant money? An exodus of millennials to the cities.

“If you don’t have workforce housing, businesses leave, and that’s what’s happening on Long Island because there is so little affordable housing,” Roberts said.

For Jurow a home of her own means stability and a stake in a community.

“Finding the home I can afford on one salary is amazing,” she said.

Grant applications are available online through Community Housing Innovations. Once approved, applicants have 90 days to find a home and go to contract.

 

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