New Program For Ft Collins Prospective Homebuyers

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Fort Collins city council meetings, Twitter, Nextdoor, Facebook, and many others have seen a bunch of chatter recently concerning affordable housing in northern Colorado, and specifically Fort Collins.  It is understandable-single detached houses hit an average of $543,000 in January, 2021 in Fort Collins.

The Choice City has for years run an impressive affordable housing program, incorporating a Land Bank, private activity bonds, and development incentives, culminating in well over 50 citywide projects. Pride in this program shows, with a top notch website encompassing GIS maps, list of deed-restricted units, land bank glossary, developer resources, an FAQ page, and an evolving housing strategic plan. 

As robust a program as it is, supply has not kept up with demand, as evidenced by the years-long applications that most experience. Last week, our city council took a giant leap forward by opting into the Denver-based metroDPA (down payment assistance) plan. Here is why I love this plan;

1. Quick! Instead of multi-year planning to convert or purchase land, hire architects and contractors, and build out multi-million dollar facilities, affordable housing assistance is available almost immediately to many.

2. Track record. More than 1,500 households have participated in the program, so we know it works.

3. Income levels reach up to $150,000 and there is no limit on what the home can cost.

4. Those who are fiscally responsible (with a minimum FICO credit score of 640) qualify.

5. One of the most difficult parts of homeownership, coming up with a 5-6% down payment, is now mostly taken care of.

6. Required credit counseling classes (free) make sure that buyers receive an education on lending, credit scores, and financial responsibility.

7. Down payment assistance loans are forgivable if mortgage payments are not missed and the home remains a primary residence for at least three years.

8. Many lenders can assist. Statewide, roughly 100 lenders are approved to work with homebuyers through the DPA program.

9. Maximum debt to income ratios of 45 still apply, so risk is reduced for funding the initiative. 

Denver Housing Authority has an informative website pertaining to metroDPA, and HUD has a list of all the credit counseling classes statewide. Because it was just announced, the city of Fort Collins has limited details thus far on its Social Sustainability website.  

One thing is for sure-helping qualified, modest income folks own their own home instead of renting is a goal to strive for. Hopefully with this additional step, housing affordability will come a bit easier to the residents of Fort Collins. 


Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss your move into or out of Northern Colorado.  Thank you!

James Sack, REALTOR®  

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

1109 Oak Park Drive | Fort Collins, CO 80525

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