Singleton Bills Help First-Time Homebuyers With Down Payments, Repairs

TRENTON, NJ – The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday unanimously advanced a bill package sponsored by Senators Troy Singleton and Vin Gopal that would expand financial assistance for New Jersey homeowners and first-time homebuyers' down payment and home repair assistance.

The first bill, S1762, sponsored by Senator Singleton, who represents Bordentown in the Legislature, and Senator Gopal, would establish the New Jersey First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account Program and allow for individuals to receive income tax benefits to be applied to their tax liability as established under the program.

"It is a well-known fact that the key to creating generational wealth is homeownership. In fact, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve, the median net worth for homeowners in 2019 was $255,000 compared to $6,300 for renters – that's 40 times greater," said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). "Yet, it can be difficult for lower to moderate income individuals to obtain homeownership, especially with the pandemic taking a heavy toll on the economy over the last year. That is why these first-time homebuyer assistance programs are needed now more than ever to ease the financial burdens that they may encounter when trying to become property owners."

"Homeownership and the financial challenges that come with it can be daunting for first-time homeowners. The establishment of this savings account program will encourage healthy financial decisions for new homeowners," said Senator Gopal (D- Monmouth). "Homeownership is a shrinking market, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. With proposed incentives, this program will benefit New Jersey and new homeowners."

The second bill, S242, would establish the "New Jersey American Dream Program" within the Division of Housing and Community Resources in the Department of Community Affairs. The bill will appropriate $25 million from the General Fund to the grant program in order to provide financial assistance f0r certain low and moderate income households to achieve homeownership.

The third bill, S3669, will provide mortgage payment relief for homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency period.

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