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First-time home buyer testifies about importance of Vermont Down Payment Assistance Program

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on February 22, 2018 - 4:22pm

Yesterday, Ryan Rush-Booth, a Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) borrower who lives in Stamford, VT, testified at the State House in support of doubling VHFA’s Down Payment Assistance program funding. Rush-Booth works in IT at Southwestern VT Medical Center. When they first moved to Vermont six years ago, Ryan, his wife, and their two young children moved in with family because they could not find affordable housing.

While living with parents, Ryan and his wife saved up enough money to try to buy a home, but could only afford a recent foreclosure that needed a tremendous amount of work. Because the family needed to dedicate much of their savings toward improving the home, the down payment assistance funding provided by VHFA was a critical factor. 

In addition to testifying in the state Senate, Rush-Booth presented at a luncheon for legislators and other partners. Doubling the funding available for VHFA’s Down Payment Assistance program, called the ASSIST Program, was included in Governor Scott's budget and is now under consideration in the Vermont Legislature. 

Expanding the Down Payment Assistance Program would insure that it remains available to future potential first-time home buyers like Rush-Booth and his family.  Since the program began in 2015, demand has been running at twice what can be funded through the Vermont Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the program's designated funding source. 


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