Council approves housing downpayment assistance program

For people who qualify, Barrington covers $25K to $50K for purchasing a house

By Josh Bickford
Posted 2/5/21

It just became a little bit easier to buy a home in Barrington.

During its meeting on Monday night, the Barrington Town Council unanimously approved a new downpayment assistance program for …

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Council approves housing downpayment assistance program

For people who qualify, Barrington covers $25K to $50K for purchasing a house

Posted

It just became a little bit easier to buy a home in Barrington.

During its meeting on Monday night, the Barrington Town Council unanimously approved a new downpayment assistance program for first-time homebuyers. The town’s Housing Board of Trustees developed the program, which is intended to help current Barrington residents purchase a home in town.

Chris Brady, a member of the Housing Board, shared details about the program during the recent council meeting. Mr. Brady said only 2.66 percent of the town’s current housing stock is deed-restricted affordable housing, which is well short of the state’s recommended goal of 10 percent.

“We’re behind,” Mr. Brady said, adding that the town needs to catch up.

The downpayment program has been in the works for years, and is available to first-time homebuyers who are income eligible. The program is only available to current Barrington residents — likely, people who are currently renting in town or living with other family in Barrington.

Mr. Brady said applicants must agree to contribute 3 percent down and make the home 30-year deed restricted affordable housing. The homes purchased through the downpayment assistance program would increase the town’s affordable housing stock and move Barrington closer to the 10 percent mark set by the state.

Mr. Brady also said officials would also monitor applicants for compliance, making sure they follow through on the deed-restriction.

For those who qualify, the program would offer between $25,000 and $50,000 for a downpayment, depending on the size of the household and income level. The program is funded by money from the Spencer Trust, which was established many years ago to help people in need in Barrington.

Barrington Town Council member Annelise Conway, whose recent council campaign drew attention to the housing situation in Barrington, made a motion to approve the downpayment assistance program.

Before the vote, Mariana Silva-Buck asked whether the program would be effective considering the home prices in Barrington. Mr. Brady said the subsidy offered by the town will be very effective in making home ownership in Barrington more achievable.

The council then voted 5-0 to approve the program.

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