ESL Federal Credit Union will awards grants for Black and Latino first-time homebuyers, the organization said on Friday. The grant is a 10-to-1 dollar-for-dollar match, up to $10,500 toward down payment and closing costs.
Homeownership rates among Black and Latino residents are 32 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in the Greater Rochester nine-county region, according to ACT Rochester’s 2020 Hard Facts Update. This compares with 73 percent among white residents in the region.
“The creation of the ESL First-Time Homebuyer Grant helps in addressing the inequitable homeownership opportunities that exist in our community,” said Faheem Masood, president and CEO of ESL Federal Credit Union. “These inequitable opportunities experienced by the Black and Latino communities have existed for generations, and have stood in the way of providing these residents with access to and attainability of homeownership, the most common of wealth-building tools. Our community cannot be prosperous so long as these inequitable opportunities exist, and ESL is committed to doing our part to embedding greater equity in our community so all who call Greater Rochester home can thrive.”
The grant offers eligible first-time homebuyers the ability to earn $10 in grant dollars for every $1 saved over a minimum six-month savings period. The grant provides home buying educational support, a dedicated ESL Savings Account and funds towards down payment/closing costs.
“Our goal is to make the home buying process more accessible for Black and Latino residents in our community,” said Caytie Bowser, vice president/director, Product Development and Management, ESL Federal Credit Union. “Closing costs and down payments are two of the biggest impediments when it comes to the home buying process. Through this grant, we are not only able to lessen the upfront cost burden of buying a home, but ultimately set up grant participants for long-term success through first-time homebuyer education sessions and access to post-homeownership guidance.”
Grants are available annually on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible Black and Latino buyers, and ESL has committed to providing 300 grants on an annual basis. The grant funds will be made available to owner-occupied purchased properties that are located within Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties in the State of New York.
More information can be found here.
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