Mike McGinn, Mayor
8/30/2005 9:30:00 AM
Todd Burley (206) 684-5081
City helps developmentally disabled to become homeowners
Mayor Nickels allocates $540,000 to help launch a homeownership program this fall
The City of Seattle is allocating $540,000 to help create a homeownership program for individuals with developmental disabilities, and families with a child with a developmental disability. The Office of Housing will work in partnership with Parkview Services to launch the zero-interest, deferred-payment homebuyer assistance program.
"When people own their own homes, it allows them to build equity for their families and in their neighborhoods," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "That's why it was critical to put homeownership assistance in the Housing Levy. It's good for families, neighborhoods, and our city."
The zero-interest loans would not require monthly payments. Instead, when the home is sold, the loan would be repaid and the City will receive a share of the home’s appreciation. This will help finance future homebuyers in the program.
With City funding the Parkview Services Homeownership Program could get underway as early as October. When the idea for a homeownership program to help those with a disability was first discussed, it drew considerable interest.
"For the very first homeownership workshop in June we were at capacity with 200 people and had to turn away about 300 others," said Parkview Services Executive Director Michael Pollowitz. "We’re expecting another capacity turn out at our October 8th workshop, especially now that we have help from the City to get the program up and running."
The program will help individuals who make an annual salary of about $27,000 and below, as well as families of four who make less than $39,000. Pollowitz says the City funding will "empower the people we serve."
Seattle resident Kari Sellars is thrilled with the idea. The 37-year-old has been working for 13 years as an office assistant but has not been able to afford to buy a house or condominium. "I’d really like to do this, to get my own place. My mom is helping me. I hope I can be near my work and my church," said Sellars.
Kari’s mother, Kathy Sellars, says Kari has not let Down Syndrome hold her back. "She lettered in swimming at Nathan Hale High School; she was one of the first to attend regular public schools after the 1975 passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act); and she dreams of owning her own home."
The Parkview Services Homeownership Program is expected to help at least 12 people to become Seattle homeowners in its first year of operation.
Get the mayor’s inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm.
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