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 Florida Housing Opportunity Program (FHOP)
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The Lake County Housing Agency has been approved through the Florida Housing Finance Commission to administer the funds for FHOP.  The FHOP strategy is designed to provide subordinate down payment assistance loans to first time homebuyers for owner-occupied primary residences, which can be repaid by the income tax refund the homebuyer is entitled to under the First Time Homebuyer Credit.

The applicant(s) for the FHOP strategy must meet the following income guidelines:

  1. the maximum income limit shall be an adjusted gross income of $75,000 for single taxpayer households; or
  2. the maximum income limit shall be an adjusted gross income of $150,000 for joint-filing taxpayer households.

In order to ensure that the applicant(s) meets the income guidelines, a list of required documents is provided in this packet and must be returned with the application. A delay in providing all the necessary documentation will delay the housing agency’s ability to verify household income via third party verification. 

The FHOP strategy will allow for assistance to not exceed 10 percent of the purchase price or $8,000, whichever is less.  The applicant(s) shall be expected to use their federal income tax refund to fully repay the loan, and below is the Recapture Agreement that will be implemented with the FHOP strategy for Lake County:

The housing agency’s loan will be secured by a ten (10) year mortgage with a 10% per annum interest rate that shall begin accruing at closing. The mortgage and note will provide that if the homebuyer pays the original principal in full within eighteen (18) months from date of closing, that no interest shall be due. If the homebuyer fails to fully repay the loan within 18 months from the date of closing, that all principal and accrued interest shall be due on the first of the following to occur: “upon sale, refinance, rental or lease of the property or at the time that the property is no longer the primary residence of the homebuyer, or 10 years.”

The housing agency anticipates a large volume of applications for the FHOP strategy and thus all applications will be placed on a priority list based on the time/date the application is received. The application must be filled out completely and properly notarized in order to be accepted by housing staff and time/date stamped.  If there are more applications than the available funding will allow, those applicants will be placed on a waiting list and pulled from the list if prior applicants do not qualify.

The funding for the FHOP strategy has been extended by the federal government and the Florida Housing Coalition until June 30, 2010.  The program requires that, in order to be eligible for the funding, an applicant must have a signed Sale Contract in place on or before April 30, 2010 and the closing must take place on or before June 30, 2010.

The Lake County Housing office will accept applications up until April 30, 2010, but the applicant must provide the housing office with a copy of a signed Sale Contract by April 30, 2010, otherwise the application will be denied.  Complete applications will be processed for possible funding, if the closing occurs on or before June 30, 2010.  The housing agency does not have the authority to provide funding beyond this date.

We hope that you will take advantage of the FHOP funding and that it will provide you the opportunity to become a first time homebuyer in Lake County.  We look forward to working with you and your lenders to make this a smooth process.  We know that you will understand the regulations we must follow in order to qualify you for the program and that we will move through the process as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions prior to submitting this application, please call the office at (352) 742-6530.

Florida Housing Opportunity Program (FHOP) Application Packet


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