New program makes home ownership possible for more Oakland County families

More families in Oakland County may be able to find homeownership within their means thanks to a program administered by the Oakland County Community & Home Improvement Division. The

Oakland County Homebuyer Program is directed toward helping low and middle income families take ownership of vacant, foreclosed single family homes as their primary residence.

“Families who thought they could never afford their own home now have the opportunity to become homeowners through this innovative program,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said.

Oakland County can provide no-interest loans for homebuyer assistance, closing costs and home improvements. The homebuyer must prequalify for a fixed rate mortgage loan from a pre-approved lending institution. This loan represents 51% of the purchase price. Oakland County will finance the remaining 49% of the purchase and rehabilitation costs up to $100,000. The homebuyer must also provide funds to initiate the purchase. The homebuyer only makes payments on the conventional mortgage obtained from their lender. Payment on the homeowners assistance and home improvement loans is deferred until the property changes ownership. Limited funding is available on a first come first served basis.

Homebuyers with incomes at or below 120% of Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible for assistance. For example, a family of four earning up to $79,650 per year is eligible under this program. AMI is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD). Households must meet income guidelines that are based on family size. In addition, they must have a minimum credit score of 660 and be eligible to obtain a fixed rate mortgage. In addition, they must complete 8 hours of housing counseling provided by the Oakland County Housing Counseling Unit. For specifics of the program, visit the Oakland County Community & Home Improvement website at

Funding for the Oakland County Home Buyer Program is provided by HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSP1 and NSP3). This emergency funding supplements the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The purpose of the program is to reverse the decline of neighborhood housing values by stabilizing neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure and abandonment. Through the NSP 3 Program, the purchase of foreclosed homes at a discount and rehabilitating or redeveloping the homes will have a positive impact on the community.

Under NSP1, Oakland County assisted approximately 100 households purchase homes at a total cost of $5 million. NSP3 has significantly less funding. Approximately $1.4 million is available to assist eligible households purchase homes. It is a continuation of NSP1, but has much more focused requirements.

The Oakland County Homebuyer Program includes properties in select Oakland County communities having the greatest need. The NSP 3 eligible communities are: Auburn Hills, Clawson, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Keego Harbor, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Rochester Hills, Wixom, Brandon Township, Independence Township, Rose Township, Royal Oak Township, Waterford Township, West Bloomfield Township, White Lake Township, Holly Village, Ortonville Village and Oxford Village. Purchasers do not need to be a current resident of the community; however, they must purchase vacant foreclosed properties in an eligible community.

For more information, visit the Oakland County Community & Home Improvement website at or call (248) 858-1529.