If you haven't already caught up with the latest news, a significant change for Oklahoma's affordable housing market is merely one step away!
The Housing Stability Program, which has come into effect in July, can receive approval for its $215 million construction loan program as soon as the end of this year. This new program aims to increase the supply of affordable homes and rental housing, and provide down payment and closing cost assistance for home buyers in rural and urban areas across Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is in charge of this effort and is currently in the process of developing a set of regulatory rules. The program is expected to officially roll out early next year, pending the approval of emergency rules by governor Kevin Stitt.
Now, you may be wondering, how does this initiative impact you or your family?
More affordable housing in the coming two years
To answer your question, let's take a moment to talk about numbers.
As of now, more than 26,000 Oklahoma residents are waiting for rental assistance. Around 900 families are expected to benefit from the Housing Stability Program.
The Housing Stability Program plans to offer up to $63.55 million developer subsidy for rental housing, which means there will be more single and multifamily rental properties. Meanwhile, the program is also setting aside another $100.7 million homebuilder subsidy to encourage new home construction.
The third pillar of this program is a $40-million down payment and closing cost assistance for eligible residents who plan to purchase homes produced by the homebuilder subsidy program as their primary residence in Oklahoma.
Who is eligible for the program ?
Eligibility requirements for the down payment and closing cost assistance under the Housing Stability Program include income limits and loan related requirements.
There are two loan programs available: gold loan program or Tax exempt mortgage revenue bond (Government and Conventional) and dream loan program (Conventional).
The gold loan program requires your annual household income, based on county and family size, must be at or lower than 120% of county area median income. Eligible residents for the dream loan program, on the other hand, should have an mortgage qualifying income of less than $150,000.
Other eligibility requirements
In addition, prospective homebuyers must first apply for the OHFA zero percent interest, no monthly payment down payment and closing cost subordinate mortgage, which should be equivalent to 3.5% of the total approved mortgage loan amount.
You also have to meet a minimum credit score requirement of 640, and maintain a calculated debt-to-income ratio below 45% for government loans and 50% for conventional loans.
More available housing programs in Oklahoma
While the Housing Stability Program is pending final approval, many cities and counties also offer alternative affordable housing options for low-income individuals and households.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
This program provides support to eligible residents by paying part of their rent. If you have found a comfortable and safe place that meets Housing Quality Standards, submit your application to OHFA, and you will be added to the waiting list.
OHFA will then process your application based on the date and time it is received. Once you reach the top of the waiting list, OHFA will contact you to schedule an appointment and kick off the eligibility review process.
Don't forget to include proof of disabilities along with your application if you or any members of your family have disabilities. This will expedite the processing of your application. Additionally, OHFA gives preference to homeless applicants.
Performance Based Contract Administration
The Performance Based Contract Administration also provides rental subsidy to eligible residents. But unlike the Housing Choice Voucher program, the rental subsidy is tied to the apartment. Therefore, if you decide to move, you will need to apply again.
Under this program, you can apply for qualifying apartments by contacting the property management offices directly, and inquire about the specific criteria for each property. OHFA shares a list of eligible properties and contact information of property managers on its website.
Oklahoma Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF)
If you have experienced significant financial distress due to COVID-19 and are on the verge of losing your home, HAF may be able to lend a helping hand.
The HAF fund supports qualifying homeowners by helping with the reinstatement of delinquent mortgage, mortgage payment and deferral amount, partial claim amount, delinquent property tax, restoration of homeowner’s insurance, and delinquent Homeowners Association dues.
To qualify for the benefit, the property in question must be your primary residence and not listed for sale. Moreover, you must meet a series of eligibility requirements, including income limits, citizenship status, financial resources and other mortgage related requirements.
Save More with FREE Cellphone and Unlimited Data
If you qualify for some of the above housing assistance programs, there is a good chance that you are also eligible for government assistance programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline. Through these programs, you can save on your mobile phone bill and, if you are a Oklahoma resident, get a brand new free smartphone!
The ACP is a federal program that enables needy households to access cheaper quality phone and internet services. If your family income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or any members of your household receive Federal Public Housing Assistance, you will be eligible for the benefit.
Upon qualifying for the ACP, you can receive up to a $30 monthly discount on internet service (up to $75 if you live on tribal lands). It also comes with additional perks like a one-time discount of up to $100 for a tablet or computer.
The Lifeline Program
Similar as ACP, Lifeline provides discounted mobile service to financially disadvantaged residents in Oklahoma. To qualify, your or your family income must be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Lifeline offers a basic phone service discount of at least $9.25 each month (up to $34.25 if you're living on tribal lands).
As we mentioned, if you are a Oklahoma resident who is eligible for either of the above two programs, you will receive an Unlimited Plan that includes a FREE smartphone when you apply directly through EASY Wireless. The plan also include:
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Card Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
To get started with EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking the below:
Start Saving Today!
Or you can drop by one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for the benefits.
Visit us for all your cell phone and wireless service needs today!