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Bill would set aside $25M annually in down payment aid for first-time home buyers


Nikita Biryukov | May 12, 2022 | NJ Monitor |

Measure is part of effort to close the racial wealth gap

A Senate panel has unanimously advanced a measure setting aside millions for down payment assistance for some first-time home buyers, but questions remain about the bill’s future.

The bill, which cleared the panel in a unanimous vote Monday, would set aside $25 million annually for four years to fund grants of up to $10,000 for down payment assistance or home repairs for would-be homeowners making no more than 80% of their area’s median income.

“We feel this is the proper tool to help them get through the initial hurdles, as it were, to be able to move forward and get their piece of the American dream,” said Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), the bill’s prime sponsor in the upper chamber and chair of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Singleton said his bill, dubbed the New Jersey American Dream Act, was modeled after a federal policy launched by President George W. Bush. The federal program, which also provided down payment assistance for homebuyers,  lapsed in 2008.

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