A state program designed to help first-time home buyers says it’s ready to begin lending again.

After nearly 18 months of not issuing new financing for low and moderate income buyers, WHEDA officials say they will start offering loans again on March First. Executive Director Antonio Riley says the loans will be available through a partnership with Fannie Mae, and Wisconsin will be the first state to offering the program.

Under the program, Riley says there will be fewer fees and more potential home buyers should be able to qualify due to higher income limits being put in place. Buyers with good credit will also qualify for 100-percent financing and low closing costs. WHEDA will also begin offering a job loss payment protection program, which will cover up to six months of mortgage payments if a borrower becomes involuntarily unemployed.

The loans will offer a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate.

Riley says the program will have some restrictions in place. The most notable is that the loans cannot be used to help purchase condominiums. WHEDA officials say that guideline was put in place by Fannie Mae.

WHEDA has budgeted nearly $180 million for home loans in the first year of the program. Although, Riley says they hope to expand their offerings as capital markets improve.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:01)


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