Central Valley

Help with low-interest loans coming in Modesto on May 17

Millions of dollars in very-low-interest home loans for down payments or repairs will be offered this spring and summer in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. But before residents can qualify to receive any of those federal funds to buy foreclosed homes, they must attend training workshops to ensure they are prepared to be homeowners.

One of those free workshops will be offered May 17 during the massive Homeownership Modesto event at Modesto Center Plaza. Registration is now open for that 8 a.m. to noon training session. Fill out the form posted under "How to Sign Up" at www.modbee.com/homeownership.

About $50 million from federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds are being distributed to communities throughout Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties. Cities and counties will use the money to help middle- and low-income residents buy vacant foreclosed homes.

Modesto is getting $8.2 million and Stanislaus is getting an additional $9.7 million for the program. Officials from those government agencies now need people willing to buy foreclosed homes using those federal funds.

All the details about how the new program will work will be explained from noon to 5 p.m. May 17 during the Homeownership Modesto workshops at Modesto Center Plaza. The event is free and open to everyone without reservations. There also will be dozens of informational booths at that community event to inform people about home buying opportunities.

Those who register to attend the formal First-Time Homebuyers training 8 a.m. to noon May 17 can attend the afternoon workshops and visit the booths afterward.

For those who cannot attend the morning training session, future home buyers training events will be scheduled.

Those interested in buying Stanislaus County homes in places other than Modesto can apply by filling out the Stanislaus Housing Opportunities Partnership form posted at www.modbee.com/homeownership or by calling 557-2008.

Real estate investors also can qualify to get low-interest loans to buy foreclosed houses in Modesto. Information about that program will be explained during afternoon workshops at the May 17 event.

Homeownership Modesto is sponsored by the city of Modesto and The Bee.

For more information, including new details as they become available, go to www.modbee.com/homeownership.

Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at jnsbranti@modbee.com or 578-2196.

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