Program Offering Forgivable Loans to Homebuyers

March 13, 2012

A new state program that aims to fill vacant metro Chicago real estate is up and running.

The Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program was formed to create affordable housing in six Chicago-area cities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

home spelled with wooden alphabet building, roofs on top, isolated on whiteThe program received $55 million from Illinois and Cook County to help stabilize the communities of Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Maywood, Park Forest, Riverdale and South Holland by rehabbing vacant, foreclosed properties and turn them into affordable housing.

Right now, the program is looking for eligible buyers interested in purchasing a vacant home in one of those communities.

The program will provide up to $10,000 over two years in a forgivable loan for down payment and closing cost assistance.

Buyers will receive a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at an affordable interest rate.

You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer, but there are income restrictions.

A one- or two-person household can have a household income of no more than $89,760 and must purchase a home in one of those communities at a cost of no more than $373,760.

For households of three or more, the combined income can be no more than $104,720 and the cost of the home can be no more than $478,373.

Even those with poor credit scores can apply.

Ready to buy a home and help stabilize a Chicago-area neighborhood? You must find a participating lender, which includes First Mortgage Corp., Harris Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. For contact information, click here.

For more information on the Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program, visit

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