Employers in the greater Spokane area will now have access to the Hometown Home Loan Program, an employer-assisted housing benefit offered through HomeStreet Bank, one of the oldest community banks headquartered in Washington and a subsidiary of HomeStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: HMST). Several area employers have already adopted the program in the Spokane area, including Community Frameworks.
The Hometown Home Loan Program was created in 1994 to help the city of Seattle make homeownership more affordable for its employees. Currently, over 50 public and private companies and organizations and several labor unions in Washington, Oregon and Hawaii offer the program. Participating employers include the University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, several municipalities including the cities of Seattle and Portland, and a number of school districts.
Program benefits include free homeownership education, significant savings on purchases and refinances, and access to down payment assistance. Through the Hometown Home Loan Program, the average person can save between $1,300 and $1,700 in closing costs and fees, depending on the loan amount.
Nearly 10,000 individuals and families have used the program to purchase or refinance a home since 1994, saving participants more than $12 million in closing costs and fees. Forty percent of the people who have purchased homes through the program were first-time homebuyers.The Hometown Home Loan Program partners on a local level with nonprofit community housing organizations that focus on community development and affordable housing solutions. In the Spokane area, HomeStreet Bank is partnering with Community Frameworks. In addition to providing affordable housing options, Community Frameworks also offers financial fitness and mortgage basics classes. “We really appreciate HomeStreet’s approach to creating affordable homeownership opportunities,” said Community Frameworks Deputy Director Alan Trunnel. “We feel their emphasis on homeownership education mirrors our goal of creating successful homeowners. In fact, we decided to make this program available to our own employees as well as to our clients.”
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