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Hillsboro Homebuyer Gets Help to Afford Down Payment

Post Date:02/28/2019

Nazdar stands in front of her new home in HillsboroBuying a home in Hillsboro felt out of reach for Nazdar, a Hillsboro resident who moved back to the area in recent years to care for her aging parents.

Upon her return, Nazdar moved into her parents’ apartment as the live-in caregiver. Her 80-year-old father has short term memory loss, and her 76-year-old mother lives with dementia, and they both experience challenges with mobility.

The family’s living situation soon became unsustainable, as the small apartment didn’t provide a space of her own to relax and sleep after the daily hours of providing care for her parents.

But a new opportunity to buy a home in Hillsboro arose with assistance from the nonprofit organization Proud Ground.

The City of Hillsboro provided more than $400,000 in funding to Proud Ground in fall 2018, through the City’s Community Development Block Grant program. The funding enables Proud Ground to offer $80,000 in down-payment assistance grants to five qualifying home buyers searching for homes in Hillsboro. The City’s involvement will benefit more than the initial five home recipients. These five properties will continue to provide affordable housing in perpetuity for Hillsboro community members.
Nazdar and her parents pose for a photo
The City plans to provide more than $300,000 in grant funding to Proud Ground in 2019 to assist three additional families.

During the home-buying process, Nazdar discovered that Hillsboro has more accessible options for her family’s needs than other areas, and feels Hillsboro is a safe and welcoming community. She loves that Downtown Hillsboro is lined with sidewalks and has a number of restaurant options.

“It’s unbelievable, really. It’s a dream come true,” Nazdar said upon moving her family into their new two-story home in Hillsboro. “I never thought I would be a homeowner.”

More about the Proud Ground partnership

In 2018, the Hillsboro City Council prioritized the creation of partnerships to encourage and support the development of more market-rate and affordable housing. The City’s partnership with Proud Ground supports permanent housing affordability. Proud Ground is an example of a Community Land Trust in which a nonprofit organization ensures community stewardship of land to ensure long-term housing affordability. To do so, the trust acquires land and maintains ownership of it permanently. With prospective homeowners, it enters into a long-term, renewable lease instead of a traditional sale. When the homeowner sells, the family earns only a portion of the increased property value. The remainder is kept by the trust, preserving the affordability for future low- to moderate-income families.

In May 2018, the City Council approved the City’s planned use of Community Development Block Grant funds, which included the partnership with the Proud Ground program. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is funded annually through Congressional appropriations under the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations subcommittee. An appropriations bill is legislation to appropriate federal funds to a specific federal government department. The CDBG program is one of HUD’s the longest running programs which funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. A block grant is a specified funding amount from the Federal government to states and local governments to help support various board purpose programs, such as law enforcement, social services, public health and community development. CDBG funds may be used for homeownership, housing rehabilitation, rental housing, and activities in connections with housing. Housing activities usually address the CDBG national objective of benefiting low and moderate income households. The CDBG program requires that one of the three national objectives must be met when using CDBG funds. The three national objectives are; Benefit low- and moderate income persons; aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; and meet an urgent need. Having a safe, affordable home is a basic goal for every family, and a central goal of the CDBG program.

The City of Hillsboro operates its CDBG program based on community needs outlined in the Washington County Consortium’s Five-year Consolidated Plan. The plan is designed to help states and local jurisdictions to assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions, and to make data-driven, place-based investment decisions. The Consolidated Plan is carried out through an Annual Action Plan. The City submits its Annual Action Plan to HUD in May of each year that details all the activities (such as the Proud Ground program) that will be undertaken with CDBG grant funds for the period of July 1 through June 30. Consultation and Citizen Participation is required as part of the development of both the Consolidated Plan and Action Plan. Public Notices are advertised in four local publications and on our website to encourage citizen participation. For the development of the 2018 Action Plan, the community supported the inclusion of the housing acquisition program with Proud Ground.

Proud Ground only serves income qualified, first-time homebuyers. The Client Qualification link lists important details each program participant must meet. After a client meets the initial program qualifications they start the home buying education process described here. Generally, participants are selected on a first come / first served basis depending one when they meet all the requirements previously described. All recipients go through the mortgage lending process to qualify for a mortgage loan as required by the program. 

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