The District of Columbia is expanding its program to help qualifying families buy houses.

Under a plan announced by the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, $62.6 million in financing for low-interest mortgage loans now is available -- more than double the size of the first loan program initiated by the city in August. Moreover, the loans under this second program can be used to buy cooperatives -- which were excluded from the first program -- as well as condominiums, town houses, detached and attached houses.

The loans are being offered to first-time home buyers whose income falls within the program guidelines at a 30-year fixed rate of 10.75 percent. That is about 2 percent below the curent conventional-loan rate.

Families that have purchased homes before may be eligible to buy properties in certain sections, such as Anacostia/Barry Farms and Shaw-Westminster, according to agency spokeswoman Sunni Smith.

She said that the $62.6 million for this second phase is expected to provide about 1,000 mortgage loans. In the first phase, about $29 million was loaned to some 250 families, she said.

To qualify, a family's income cannot exceed the annual gross prescribed by the program. The maximum for a household of four or more is $43,920; a household of three, $43,500; a household of two, $41,000 and for a single, $31,000.

Mortgages can be made for up to 95 percent of the property's value.

Families can apply through: Colonial Mortgage Co. of D.C., Colonial Mortgage Services Co., First American Bank, Guaranty Mortgage Co., Inter-City Mortgage Co., National Bank of Washington and National Consumer Cooperative Bank.

All property purchased through the program must be located in the District of Columbia and must be in livable condition at the time of purchase, Smith said. The purchase price cannot exceed $110,000.