HomeStreet Bank, a subsidiary of HomeStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ:HMST) today announced that the Hometown Home Loan Program is now available to season ticket holders and employees of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC. The partnership breaks new ground by extending this unique housing benefit program to more than 93,000 season ticket holders. The Hometown Home Loan Program provides an array of homeownership benefits including savings on home loan financing, including a 50% reduction on loan fees; access to down payment assistance and special loan programs; and free homeownership education. Through the program, the average person can typically save between $1,300 and $1,700 in closing costs and fees, depending on the loan amount. The bank also partners with local realtors and other service providers to reduce the buyer’s closing costs and assist with homeownership education. The educational aspect of the program encourages potential homeowners to address the major barriers they face in home financing, which can include lack of funds for down payment and closing costs, credit issues, unfamiliarity with the financing process and inability to qualify for a loan. “Throughout the years, we’ve made adjustments to the program to take into consideration the changing economic environment,” said Dianne Wasson, vice president and Affinity Lending manager of HomeStreet Bank. “In addition to the desire to simply save money on closing costs and fees, there is an increased need for families to develop stronger financial management skills – learning to pay down debt, investing in a savings plan, and building stronger credit scores. This is important not only for financing a home, but also to help families lead more stable and rewarding lives.” The program was developed in 1994 with the city of Seattle to help police and fire department employees qualify to purchase homes close to where they worked, thereby reducing commute time for first responders and increasing homeownership within the city. Since then, the program has grown and is now offered to employees of more than 100 private employers, municipalities and trade unions in Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.