WINNEBAGO – As part of his agenda to support our veterans in honor of Memorial Day, Governor Pat Quinn visited cities across Illinois to discuss his Welcome Home Heroes program Sunday.
As part of this program, veterans and their families can take advantage of the $10,000 in cash down-payment assistance that is available. Visiting Rockford, Chicago, Rock Island and Decatur, the Governor is continuing his push for a responsible budget that adequately funds critical veterans services.
“It is Job One on the homefront to take care of our veterans and military families for all of the sacrifices they make,” Governor Quinn said. “With programs like Welcome Home Heroes, Illinois leads the nation in serving those who have served us. I will continue to fight to ensure we protect our essential veterans services for those who have sacrificed so much.”
In addition to the down-payment assistance, the program provides a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with an affordable interest rate (currently 3.875 percent); and a mortgage tax credit worth up to $20,000 over the life of the loan to reduce federal income tax liability. Since the program’s launch three years ago, 1,300 Illinois veterans, active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members have accessed more than $165 million to buy their homes.
Welcome Home Heroes is one of a number of affordable mortgage programs the Governor has launched. In total, Governor Quinn has targeted $20 million total in state capital Illinois Jobs Now! funds to the Welcome Home Heroes program to help increase affordable homeownership opportunities for military veterans and their families.
Additionally, Welcome Home Heroes and other Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) programs help benefit the overall economy. According to the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR), every home sold generates two jobs and $60,000 in ripple effects to the overall economy. This impact has already been realized statewide with other IHDA programs. In 2013, 3,000 families purchased homes through one of IHDA’s programs, generating 1,500 jobs and infusing $70 million into Illinois’ economy. Projections show that even just a 15 percent increase in 2014 could generate an additional 1,725 jobs and infuse another $10 million into Illinois’ economy.
“Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, Welcome Home Heroes continues to eliminate barriers to homeownership that many Illinois military families face by providing a financial package that is one of the most substantial in the nation,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “As the state’s housing finance agency, we are proud to offer a program that helps military homeowners and improves local real estate markets across Illinois.”
IHDA’s mortgages have lower credit score requirements, provide cash for down payment assistance and require homeownership counseling. A list of lenders is available at www.ihda.org.
For more information about the Governor’s programs for our veterans, visit www.OperationHomefront.org or call the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at (217) 782-6641 or (312) 814-2460.