2007-06-08 / Community

Pheffer Sets 'Homes For Veterans' Program

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has announced that the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) and the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs recently announced the details of the Homes for Veterans Program that will help New York's military veterans achieve the dream of homeownership.

Governor Spitzer formally announced the new program on Memorial Day as part of a series of measures designed to assist veterans and their families in New York.

"This is a wonderful program that provides much deserved assistance to those brave men and women who have so selflessly served our country," said Pheffer.

Eligible veterans purchasing a home through the Homes for Veterans Program will receive below-market mortgages with fixed interest rates as low as 4.875% to buy their first home or a new home. These rates are 0.5% lower than those available through SONYMA's standard below-market low interest rate mortgages, and are substantially lower than the conventional interest rates available through regular banking channels and through national home loan guaranty programs for veterans. Eligible veterans, their spouses or co-borrowers do not have to be first-time homebuyers in order to qualify for this program, but will have to satisfy SONYMA's income and home purchase price limits as well as other requirements.

"The Homes for Veterans Program is the most affordable homeownership program SONYMA offers. In just the first year of homeownership, the average veteran could save approximately $4,000 when compared to SONYMA's already below market low interest rate mortgage," said SONYMA President and Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Almodovar. Unlike other SONYMA programs, the Homes for Veterans Program will require only 1% of the home purchase price to come from the borrower's own funds, while the remaining 2% can come from a gift or other acceptable sources of financing.

Veterans eligible for the Homes for Veterans Program can also take advantage of other SONYMA products, including SONYMA's Closing Cost Assistance Loan (CCAL). CCAL allows borrowers to receive either $5,000 or 5% of their total loan amount - whichever is greater - to cover expenses associated with closing a mortgage loan. CCAL requires no monthly repayment, is interest free and is forgiven after ten years. Homes for Veterans Program mortgages will be available exclusively through M&T Bank throughout New York State. Veterans can call SONYMA toll free at 1-800-382-HOME (ext. 4663) to get contact information for M&T Bank representatives specializing in Homes for Veterans Program mortgages. M&T Bank is a SONYMA participating lender.

To qualify, veterans must provide proof of active duty and proof of release from duty under conditions other than dishonorable by submitting DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Additionally, veterans must satisfy SONYMA's income and home purchase price limits as well as other eligibility requirements.

For more information about all of SONYMA's programs in both English and Spanish, call 1-800-382-HOME (ext. 4663), or visit the Agency's website at www.nyhomes.org.

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