Fannie Mae Helps Make Housing Affordable

Daryl Strickland covers real estate for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5670, and at daryl.strickland@latimes.com

A new program will help low- and moderate-wage earners in Orange and Los Angeles counties buy new homes. Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of home mortgage funds, and the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission will provide more than $30 million to buyers through local lenders.

The funds, made available through Fannie Mae's purchase of tax-exempt, single-family mortgage revenue bonds, come with low-interest financing. Buyers can choose either a 5.93% interest rate, or pay a higher rate of 6.75% and receive 3.5% of the loan amount to use for down payment and closing costs.

"There is no one bullet that can solve the problem of affordable housing," said Damian Jones of Fannie Mae, who added the program would serve about 200 families.

Nationally, there are hundreds of thousands of families in need of lower-cost housing, "but this is one piece to the puzzle," he said.

Loans will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eligibility depends on the home's cost and household income. In Orange County, a two-person household can earn up to $63,200, and a three-person household, up to $72,680. In Los Angeles, a one- or two-person household can earn no more than $61,560; a three-person household, $68,160.

For more information, check out Fannie Mae's Web site at http://www.fanniemae.com or call your local bank.

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