As the new school year approaches, we at CLF are reminded about the struggles teachers and others serving our community face when trying to secure affordable housing.  A study conducted by CLF and the Chamber of Commerce reported that 1/3 of the region pays more than 30% of their income on housing needs.  Sadly it is our teachers, police, and firefighters who are among the professions in need of affordable housing.

In an effort to help teachers become first time homebuyers, the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority created the Palmetto Heroes Program.   Designed to provide financial assistance to South Carolina teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, nurses, veterans, and EMS personnel who want to become homeowners, Palmetto Heroes provides low-interest home loans to those who qualify. Eligible Palmetto Heroes participants can receive a fixed interest rate of 3.5% on a mortgage as well as down payment assistance of up to $5,000. 

Locally, SC Community Loan Fund provides down payment assistance to eligible first time homebuyers. Loans range from $10,000 to $25,000 and are awarded to eligible homeowners to purchase new or existing homes within CLF’s service area.  Funds may be used for all or a portion of closing costs, or to reduce the principal amount of a first mortgage through down payment assistance.  In three short years, CLF has committed $2.6 million in affordable housing financing to aid 100 Lowcountry residents and leveraged $22,552,935 toward the purchase of homes through its Homebuyer Assistance Program.

CLF’s Homebuyer Assistance Program benefits first time homebuyers, individuals, or families that have not owned a home in the past three years and who work directly with a housing counseling agency; applications are not accepted from homebuyers directly.   

For more information on CLF’s Homebuyer Assistance Program, please visit our website.