Local bank receives $90K grant to aid first-time homebuyers

Union Democrat staff

By MOLLY TOWNSEND

The Union Democrat

Mother Lode Bank received a $90,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank to provide down-payment matching funds for home buyers participating in the County of Tuolumne's First-Time Homebuyer Programs.

The Federal Home Loan Bank is a nationwide consortium of community banks, of which Mother Lode Bank is a member, said Sheila Shanahan, housing program coordinator for the County of Tuolumne.

The grant falls under Federal Home Loan Bank's Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeowners Program, and 10 percent of their combined net earnings from all member banks are set aside and used for affordable housing and economic development loan and grant programs, according to a press release.

"It's basically money generated from the banks that comes back to the community," Shanahan said.

President and CEO of Mother Lode Bank, Charles Milazzo, is very pleased for Mother Lode Bank to be awarded the grant.

"Facilitating home purchases in Tuolumne County is particularly beneficial to strengthening our economy," he said.

The WISH program provides up to $15,000 for each participating

household, matching up to three times the home buyers' financial

contribution, Shanahan said.

The program will be used in conjunction with the county loan

programs, so home buyers could receive both a loan and a grant to help

cover acquisition, closing costs, and a portion of the down payment,

according to the release.

The WISH program is for those who make up to 80 percent of the

area's median income. Recipients must be able to qualify for a primary

bank loan through a lender and have a minimum down payment of 3 percent

of the purchase price of the home, Shanahan said.

"(It's) a great benefit to the homebuyer," she said.

Contact Molly Townsend at mtownsend@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4547.

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