The House Ways and Means Committee yesterday approved the continued use of mortgage revenue bonds for the purchase of single family homes, but with strong restrictions on purchase prices and incomes of buyers. The bill represents a setback for the administration which had tried to outlaw use of the bonds for single family homes.
After a long day of parliamentary wrangling, the committee settled on a dual criteria system for determining eligibility of those persons who can get mortgages from revenue bond generated funds. The legislators decided that the purchase price of a residence would not exceed 80 percent of the average sale price in the area.
That figures rises to 110 percent of purchase price in blighted areas that have been designated for renewal by the government or qualify for renewal, or which lie in a census tract where 70 percent of the people have incomes of less than 80 percent of median income in the state.
The committee also decided that one-half of the mortgage funds would be made available to households whose income did not exceed 80 percent of the median income of the area. The remainder of the funds would be available to those whose income did not exceed 115 percent of the median income of the area.
In order to give first time homeowners and renters a break, the committee voted that a person could not participate in the mortage program if he or she has owned a home within the past three years. That restriction does not apply, however, to individuals purchasing homes in areas targeted in for rehabilitation.