JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin city leaders want residents to take advantage of a program meant to repopulate the tornado affected area. Since the Joplin Home Buyer Assistance Program started in August last year, 14 people have closed on a home with the help of loan money. City leaders stress residents who take advantage of this program do not have to pay this money back.
"This is very unique and very positive opportunity for residents and for those that are looking to become residents of Joplin as well," said Jonathan Raiche, Joplin Assistant City Planner.
Jonathan Raiche is the assistant city planner for Joplin. He says the program allows low and moderate income families to purchase or build homes easier.
"Usually those programs are capped at 50% of down payment that they can provide. Our funding came with the ability to fund 100% of it," said Raiche.
Most home buyer assistance programs will be capped at $5,000. Due to the increase need after the 2011 tornado, city leaders have placed a $30,000 cap on the JHAP program.
"It is very rare. Honestly, I think I've come across one other community that has done assistance to this amount and it's been recent on the East Coast with the disaster," said Raiche.
Individuals can either build or buy a home with the help of the down payment, but it must be within the tornado zone. For home owners to benefit from JHAP, they must own the home long enough for the loan to be forgiven.
"Between $0 and $15,000 it ties it to a five year period and for $15,000 to $30,000 it ties it to a 10 year period," said Raiche.
There are annual income requirements in order to qualify as well. For one person, your annual income must be less than $42,000. A family of four could make up to $60,000 a year. Raiche tell us this program not only helps rebuild Joplin but it also gives families another opportunity to start new.
"Because that is the second goal, is to fill that area in so whether they were here at the time of the tornado or not, we want them here," said Raiche.
You can find out more on how to apply for the JHAP program by clicking here.
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