UTICA -- Future home buyers got a lesson in the home buying process, and grants that could be available to them, through a forum at the West Side Senior & Community Center.
The West Utica Citizens Forum held the community meeting Wednesday, where home experts explained the requirements of those grants.
The purpose of the grants is for the City of Utica to try to build up some of the lower income populations. Kristen Graves, Home Ownership Center Manager, says creating home ownership will help to grow those communities.
There are two different grants. One grant is $20,500 and is for residents living in Utica. This grant excludes some parts of North and South Utica, however. The other grant is $6,500 and is specifically for residents in West Utica.
The grants are geared towards first time home buyers, and lower to moderate income households.
Graves says it's important for the community to learn more about grant opportunities.
"Hopefully we have some first-time home buyers, who are in the group, and they can come through and benefit from the services,” Graves said. “Or even anybody who is here, maybe they know somebody who would fit the criteria. Somebody who might qualify and be a first-time home buyer. Just spreading the word because, even if t's not a relative or a friend. Having a next door neighbor who's a well-educated, who's going to help bring something to the community, that's not already here, or not making as much of a presence."
The grants are made as loans that are 100 percent forgiven as long as the home buyer maintains ownership for five years.
Interested applicants will have to take a home buyer education course before starting the application process.
For more information on the grants click here.