Getting a piece of the federal program

Here's how you can get a piece of the federal money headed to Stanislaus County to stabilize neighborhoods by helping people buy foreclosed properties:

  • Attend the Homeownership Modesto event May 17 at Modesto Centre Plaza, 1000 L St.:

This free event, co-sponsored by the city of Modesto and The Modesto Bee, will offer all the information prospective homeowners and real estate investors need to apply for federal money to buy foreclosed homes in Modesto.

Nearly $1.3 million in financial assistance will be distributed to middle- and low-income families to help them buy and repair vacant foreclosed Modesto homes.

The money will be loaned at interest rates as low as zero percent to help families afford those homes. Families must qualify for their own first mortgage. The federal money will be a second mortgage that can be used as a down payment, for closing costs or for home renovations.

An additional $4 million will be distributed to real estate investors who are willing to buy foreclosed Modesto homes, rehabilitate them, then resell or rent them at prices affordable to middle-income or low-income residents.

Investors would have to get their own first mortgages, then the federal money could be borrowed at a very low interest rate as a second mortgage.

Specific details about who can qualify for the money, which neighborhoods the homes must be in and how to apply will be explained during the May 17 event. There also will be workshops and informational booths.

The noon to 5 p.m. event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested by filling out the form posted with this story at homeownership.

  • Attend Modesto homeownership training:
  • To become eligible to receive the federal money for purchase of Modesto homes, first-time buyers must attend eight hours of training to ensure they are financially ready to own and maintain a home.

    The first four hours of that training -- in English or Spanish -- will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon May 17 at Modesto Centre Plaza. That's right before the Homeownership Modesto event begins.

    Registration for that adults-only training is required by May 10. To sign up, fill out the registration form posted with this story at homeownership or call Carol Averell from the city of Modesto at 577-5310.

    Additional training sessions will be held in coming months.

  • Register for the Stanislaus County program:
  • At least 180 home buyers are sought to receive federal help to purchase rehabilitated foreclosed houses in Ceres, Oakdale, Patterson, Newman, Waterford and unincorporated parts of the county.

    Buyers must be middle- or low-income legal residents who can verify their earnings and qualify for a first mortgage. Federal money can be used as a down payment or to cover closing costs.

    Sign up for the program's interest list by downloading, filling out and submitting the Stanislaus Housing Opportunities Partnership form posted with this story at

    homeownership or call Don Borgwardt at 557-2008.

  • Join the list of qualified contractors:
  • The Housing Authority of Stanislaus County is seeking contractors and subcontractors to rehabilitate the foreclosed homes it buys. The work is expected to begin in May.

    Companies interested in being hired for those jobs must submit their qualifications by April 21.

    For more information, see the Request for Qualifications for Rehabilitation Contractors document posted with this story at

    homeownership or call Don Borgwardt at 557-2008.

  • Buy through Habitat for Humanity:
  • As part of the federal program, an estimated 35 to 40 foreclosed homes are expected to be rehabilitated by Stanislaus County's Habitat for Humanity.

    Low-income residents interested in buying those homes with zero percent interest loans should sign up for an orientation session in English or Spanish by calling 575-4585, ext. 111.

  • Participate in feedback sessions:
  • Modesto city officials will discuss technical requirements for participating in the program with real estate agents, mortgage brokers, contractors, real estate investors and property managers at two special workshops.

    Real estate agents and mortgage brokers are invited to meet with city officials April 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. in The Modesto Bee conference room, 1325 H St., Modesto.

    Exactly how agents and brokers can get federal money for their clients will be explained. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling Sheri Jones at 578-2082.

    Investors, contractors and property managers who would like to discuss Modesto's proposed contracts are invited to meet April 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. in The Modesto Bee conference room, 1325 H St., Modesto.

    Feedback is sought on the wording that will be used in the contracts with those who use federal money to purchase foreclosed homes as investments. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling Sheri Jones at 578-2082.

  • Visit
  • As more information about these programs become available, it will posted at this Web site. That includes registration forms, event fliers and technical details about how to qualify to get the funding.