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Home loan production more than doubles in Shelby County from new assistance programs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you're looking to get financial assistance to buy a home in Shelby County, you may want to act fast.

One state program that offers up to $15,000 is set to run out of funding this year.

It's helped home loan production more than double in the county in a year and has helped over 400 homeowners.

Joy Turner says she couldn't be happier living in the Raleigh/Frayser area.

"It's been great. I love my neighborhood," Turner said.

Especially since she received a $10,000 loan to help buy her house. If she stays for five years, she owes no money back.

"It's not just like, oh, five years I have to be here and I don't have to pay it back," Turner said. "I'm going to be here for 20-plus years and this is my home. I'm making it my home."

It's part of a city down-payment assistance program that can also go hand-in-hand with a state program that launched last year.

Recipients in the Tennessee Housing Developing Agency Program can get a $15,000 interest free loan to buy a house.

If the homeowner can make it to living six years in the house, then they don't have to pay for a fifth of the loan.

If they make it ten years in the house, the entire loan is forgiven.

The funding for the program is set to run out by the end of the year, which is more than a year earlier than expected.

It shows the level of need in our city.

"This is another huge opportunity that, thankfully, hundreds of people have taken advantage of," Mayor Jim Strickland said.

Both down payment assistance programs are available in over a dozen Shelby County zip codes.

They're ones with high foreclosure rates, lagging home sales and other economic issues.

The goal is to revitalize these neighborhoods by filling them with proud homeowners.

"The program is designed for folks who are going to put down roots and intend to stay there. Anytime you bring the presence of an invested homeowner- that makes a difference," Ralph Perrey, executive director at The Tennessee Housing Development Agency, said.

There will still be other assistance programs available when the money’s gone.

If you’re interested in applying for one of these city or state loans to buy a home in a designated area code, go to GreatChoiceTN.com and here.