Twin Cities revive first-time homebuyer program

A program to help people buy homes in St. Paul and Minneapolis is back on track after a one-year hiatus.

The CityLiving program offers low-interest mortgages, and assistance with down payments and closing costs, to first-time homebuyers.

The mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis Tuesday announced a $42 million boost to the program.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says the recent infusion of cash will help about 300 families purchase homes, and re-energize neighborhoods devastated by the foreclosure crisis.

"We have an opportunity for people to invest, to get a good deal on an interest rate, get some assistance with a down payment, and get back into the cities," said Coleman. "It's a win-win for the potential homeowner, first-time homebuyer, and it's certainly a great thing for our neighborhoods to stabilize them."

The program is funded through bonds sold by the cities. The CityLiving initiative has been around for 30 years, but it was not available last year because the credit crunch prevented the cities from selling the necessary bonds.

Only first-time homebuyers who meet certain income limits are eligible. More information is available at livemsp.org.

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