SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Housing Development Authority reports more than 4,500 home-buyers have reserved over $500 million in mortgage financing. Officials say that's a record in the agency's 30 years of mortgage lending.
The agency says it is a success story that comes as experts recognize the importance of first-time home-buyers in pushing economic development.
The Housing Development Authority uses unique ways to help. Officials say the agency offers 30-year fixed-rate loans, competitive interest rates and as much as $10,000 in down-payment assistance.
A key program is the governor's Welcome Home Illinois. It offers $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.75 percent for a 30-year mortgage. The agency also offers special programs for veterans or those who choose to buy a vacant property.