Homeownership assistance program launched for teachers and first responders

Published 11:11 am Friday, January 20, 2023

Teachers and first responders may qualify for down payment assistance, and the program is not limited to first-time home buyers. Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) launched Keys for Service, a first-of-its-kind homeownership assistance program, to provide down payment assistance for active, full-time law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics and certified teachers.

“The Keys for Service Program is our way to give back to our state’s heroes who work tirelessly to care for our children and protect our communities,” said LHC’s Executive Director Joshua Hollins. “Providing down payment assistance and closing cost assistance will offer the support to make homeownership a reality.”

Eligible borrowers receive four percent down payment assistance on a 30-year mortgage term. If the loan is paid off early, there is no penalty. However, borrowers may be subject to paying back their down payment and closing cost assistance.

Interested borrowers must be active, full-time employees of the city, parish or state law enforcement agency; an active, full-time firefighter or licensed paramedic or an active, full-time teacher with a Louisiana teaching certification.

Maximum annual household income is $110,000. This is not a program for a second property. It’s only for a primary residence.

According to a spokesperson from LHC, the grant monies are available from local lenders to those who qualify. NOLA Lending at 5400 Nelson Rd. and GMFS at 3830 Nelson Rd.are the local lenders listed for this LHC program. Other financial institutions may offer other LHC programs.

“Our educators and first responders play pivotal roles in shaping and caring for our communities, and at the end of the day, they deserve a safe and affordable place to call home,” Hollins said.

Ashley Neely couldn’t agree more. She is the branch manager and loan officer at GMFS Mortgage in Lake Charles, one of the two lenders on the list, and her husband is a firefighter. In her six years, she has seen LHC grants make homeownership a reality.

“People can come into this location to apply for the grant,” she said. “To review information such as interest rates, go to the LHC website.”

For more information, assistance with the application process or to determine if Keys for Service is the best option for your home buying needs, contact the LHC customer service team at singlewebinfo@lhc.la.gov. For a list of lenders, go to www.lhc.la.gov/keysforservice.