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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Seattle celebrates 100th homeownership loan

8/2/2006  2:30:00 PM
Todd Burley  (206) 684-5081

Seattle celebrates 100th homeownership loan
Two-year-old HouseKey Plus Seattle Program
helps low-income workers buy homes

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels announced today the city has now helped 100 working families and individuals buy homes in Seattle through an innovative program that targets people who might otherwise be priced out of the real estate market.

The HouseKey Plus Seattle Program is a partnership between the city of Seattle Office of Housing and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. It helps low-income, first-time homebuyers with down-payment assistance.

“Buying a home shouldn’t be out of reach for anyone who works in Seattle,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “In its two years, this program has helped working families across the city climb over the biggest barrier to homeownership - the down payment - so they could make an investment in their community and their future.”

The HouseKey Plus Seattle program pairs a below-market first mortgage with up to $45,000 in down payment assistance from the Office of Housing, and $15,000 from the state’s Finance Commission. During the two-year life of the program, the Office of Housing has provided more than $2.8 million in down-payment assistance and leveraged more than $12 million in other financing to assist low-income, first-time homebuyers in Seattle.

The recipient of the 100th loan is first-year Seattle School District teacher Christa Reagan, who joined the program after struggling to find a home she could afford.

“I am a single woman with a first-year teacher’s salary,” said Reagan, who bought a condo. “I tried for over a year to purchase a home with no success, and then I learned about the HouseKey Plus Seattle loan program. I am so happy and such a believer that this can really happen.”

The HouseKey Plus Seattle program makes more city-funded home loans to new homebuyers than any other city-sponsored program. The Finance Commission administers the HouseKey Plus Seattle program, saving the city on administrative costs.

“Our partnership with the city of Seattle has been a great success,” said Karen Miller, chair of the commission. “We have been able to help 100 first-time homebuyers purchase in one of the highest-cost areas in the nation with this program, which builds a stronger sense of community.”

“The city and the commission have a well established partnership,” said Office of Housing Director Adrienne Quinn. “This partnership helps the city reach and provide assistance to even more potential homeowners.”

To learn more about the HouseKey Plus Seattle homeownership program, call the Office of Housing at 206-684-0721, contact the Washington State Housing Finance Commission at 206-464-7139 or visit its website at

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