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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pushed back the deadline it will accept applications to participate in its Homewise Program lottery to Aug. 31. The program was announced in June as part of National Homeownership Month, and is the result of a partnership between HUD, the National Housing Endowment, the National Association of Home Builders, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. HUD will turn over 10 homes from its inventory of foreclosed properties to the NHE which will in turn work with local home builders associations in each of 10 cities to make necessary repairs using $100,000 donated each by the two housing Government-Sponsored Enterprises. Eligible buyers can download an application from the HUD Web site or call the agency to request an application. Among the qualifications, all applicants must be first time homebuyers and sign up for a Homebuyer education course offered by the Housing Counseling Agencies. In addition, their household income must be below the gross income limits for the city where the property is located, and in two cities – Columbus, Ohio and Seattle, Wash. – eligible applicants must also be veterans, service disabled since Sept. 11, 2001. The applicant must also be able to meet the underwriting requirements for the purchase mortgage, and agree to occupy the house as a principal residence for the five years following closing. Applicants can only submit an application in one city. HUD will hold a lottery for the homes in each city among applicants who meet all the requirements starting in late September, and one in each location will be chosen as Homewise family. Those families will be able to buy the home for half of its appraised value. HUD said it expects “hundreds, if not thousands, of families to apply. Each one will come out a winner, because families will discover through their homeownership counseling that buying a home isn’t as difficult as they thought it was. They’ll be more prepared than ever to buy a home, and empowered in new ways to realize the American Dream of homeownership for themselves.” The following are the household gross income limits for the 10 HUD designated cities: St. Louis, Mo. – $52,720; Kansas City, Mo. – $54,720; Columbus, Ohio – $51,040; Detroit, Mich. – $53,440; Miami, Fla. – $36,320; Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. – $57,520; Chicago, Ill. – $55,680; Atlanta, Ga. – $55,200; Philadelphia, Pa. – $55,040; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. – $61,120. -

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