(Chicago, IL) – Today, the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), Richard Monocchio, welcomed four graduates of the HACC’s Homeownership Program as they gathered for a graduation ceremony at HACC’s downtown campus. All four graduates have officially closed on their homes throughout the past year as a part of HACC’s Homeownership Program.
HACC’s Homeownership Program assists Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipients take the steps to become first-time homeowners. Participants must have been employed for two years, have a FICO/Credit score of 640, have the funds necessary to cover closing costs, as well as meet the income stipulations required to receive a first-time homebuyer loan from the IL Housing Development Authority (IHDA).
Eligible HCV participants are then able to attend HACC’s eight hour Homeownership workshop where they cover all of the topics necessary to make smart buying decisions such as inspections, comparing and shopping for mortgage products and homeowner rights. Program participants are subsequently matched with a Homeownership Counselor who is charged with providing counseling and advice at every step of the home buying process.
While Homeownership Program participanuts are welcome to search for homes throughout HACC’s jurisdiction, the vast majority have closed in communities throughout south suburban Cook County most notably in Chicago Heights, Homewood and Matteson, IL. Support from IHDA and US Bank has been crucial in the effort.
“Today’s graduation represents the culmination of many months of hard work and dedication to goals on the part of the graduates,” said Richard Monocchio, ED of HACC. “We hope these graduates’ stories will inspire others to take the same steps,” he continued.
The Homeownership graduates were joined by participants of HACC’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) as well. The graduates were given the opportunity to share to the future hopeful homeowners the stories of their experience throughout the process.
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) has noted that the African American Homeownership rate has taken a sharp downturn over the last decade: “The homeownership rate for black households ended 2016 at 41.7 percent, near a 50-year low, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Black homeownership hasn’t been this low since the time when housing discrimination was legal…” relayed one NAREB article.
“With homeownership rates in struggling and minority-based communities dwindling, the Housing Authority of Cook County is proud to commit to the cause of assisting our residents seeking to invest in their communities,” said Richard Monocchio.
67 program participants have now successfully closed on homes through the Homeownership Program since its inception 2010, with more scheduled for the remainder of the year.
If you’re a current HCV holder and are interested in HACC’s Homeownership Program, do not hesitate to reach out.
Call at (708) 825-9225 or email at [email protected] to find out more about the eligibility requirements.