Beware! People need to be very cautious when considering accepting a government-housing grant. This is a program that the government offers low-income families. I have found that this is much of the time single parent families and the elderly, people who are normally powerless and cannot afford a lawyer. The idea of the grant seems great, on the surface. Money is given to upgrade homes to make the homes weather proof and updating items such as the electrical systems. In return, the homeowner is told that they will have to live in their home for 10 years and that 10% of the grant would be forgiven for each year that they lived in the home. The homeowner pays around $40 a month and at the end of the 10 years they would end up having paid around $4,000 for a $17,000 grant.
What they don’t tell you is that they become the first lien holder on your home. They don’t tell you that if you move or rent out your home before the 10 years is up that you have to pay them back what has not been forgiven in full within 30 days. You are expected to pay them back before you even sell the house and they tack on around $5,000 in fees. If you call them and try to work out payments until the house is sold they will not work with you. They will tell you that you need to give them their money at the end of the 30 days or they will foreclose on the home and sell it to get their money back.
When the mortgage company is contacted, they will not help you because if you have all of your house payments up-to-date and you are in good standing with them they will not help you. You will be told that if you are behind in your payments, however, that they can work with you. When a lawyer is contacted, the lawyer will tell you that your only course of action is bankruptcy. How do I know this? Because it happened to me!
I was a single mother of three and purchased a home a year after beginning a teaching position in a small town in Nebraska. A year down the road, another single lady who was a neighbor of mine told me about the grant after receiving one herself. So, I applied for the grant and got it. Fast forward six years, I am remarried to the man of my dreams after having been a single mother for 12 years. The only problem was that he lived an hour away. After commuting back and forth for a year, I was able to get a job in the same town as my husband and we moved in together with our seven kids. Then the nightmare began. It is now over a year later and I am still dealing with the housing grant people and the mortgage company with no end in sight. The house never sold.
Our aunt and uncle and several other people in a neighborhood in Missouri found themselves in a similar situation with the housing grants when their houses burned down due to faulty wiring caused by the electrician sent by the housing authority for the grant. Five houses burned down because the wiring was not grounded. Our aunt and uncle’s dog was killed and one other family lost their daughter in the fires. All the fires happened at different times. They were told that they couldn’t sell their land and that they had to live on that land until the 10 years were up. All I can say is be extremely cautious before accepting a government-housing grant. You could be the next victim!