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HARP program successes make news

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 11/6/2013

The Housing Acquisition & Rehabilitation Program (HARP), administered by VHFA, is helping income-qualified home buyers participate in Vermont’s current favorable home buying market, according to this week’s Times Argus*. 

The article describes the experiences of a homeowner who recently purchased a newly renovated house in Rutland City who said that many of the houses in her price range needed a lot of work.   “We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to find something ready to move into,” she said. “We also worried that if something big went wrong, we wouldn’t have enough savings to cover it. With this house we can be confident that nothing major is going to go wrong.”

The HARP program works like this:  VHFA purchases a foreclosed home and then works with a nonprofit agency to rehabilitate the property to a high standard of efficiency, safety and integrity.  The house is then sold to a new, income-qualified owner.  Funding is provided by HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization program. 

The goal of each home’s rehabilitation is to make sure the next homeowner will enjoy a safe, energy efficient, newly updated and structurally sound property for years to come.   For example, two homes in the Northeast Kingdom towns of Danville and Glover were recently renovated extensively through HARP, furnished with energy efficient appliances and are available for purchase.   For a household meeting income guidelines, the HARP program provides a sizeable grant that can both greatly reduce the net cost of purchasing either home and eliminate the need for costly mortgage insurance. 

The 3 bedroom Danville house in Caledonia County, which received a new kitchen, new bathrooms and new flooring (pictured), is priced at $190,000, but when a $38,000 grant available to income eligible households is considered, the net cost of the home falls to $152,000. 

The Glover house in Orleans County is even more affordable.  This 4 bedroom ranch was completely renovated to include new flooring, baths, windows, doors, insulation, siding and septic system.  It is available for $128,000 to income-eligible households due to a $32,000 grant off the $160,000 price tag. 

 Learn more about the HARP program or browse other homes for sale.

*Accessing this article may require a Times Argus subscription.