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Story of Justice: Home Ownership

The dream of home ownership recently came true for four families, thanks in part to our Community Economic Development Project team here at Legal Aid who worked in conjunction with the Central County Community Development Corporation (“CCCDC”), an affiliate of the Urban League of Broward County. The efforts were part of Broward County’s neighborhood revitalization and beautification project in the unincorporated area known as the Broward Municipal Services District. The project assists low and moderate-income people to become homeowners.

Broward County donated vacant lots in central Broward County to CCCDC, and nine other nonprofit affordable housing developers, for the construction of affordable single-family homes meeting specific aesthetic requirements. The sales prices ranged from $219,000 to $239,999. 

Broward County pre-qualified potential buyers and then made a final selection through a lottery. The County provided down payment assistance to the families in a further effort to keep mortgage payments at an affordable level for each family (roughly 30% of total income).   The down payment assistance was secured by a “soft” second mortgage on the property, meaning that there are NO payments and NO interest so long as the homeowner maintains the property as their homestead for fifteen years, at which point the second mortgage will be forgiven.  An additional restriction during the fifteen-year period is that the home can only be re-sold to another buyer meeting the income restriction. 

Legal Aid attorneys represented and advised the CCCDC throughout the development process by negotiating construction financing documents, drafting construction agreements, purchase agreements and closing documents.  As a result, CCCDC completed four single-family homes with attractive design finishes in 2018 and the last family closed on their home in January.

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