Ind. city offers $100K no-interest down payment aid plan for FFs, police to live in city
The program is designed to help attract and retain first responders and to help them afford homes near their workplaces
By Leila Merrill
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Earlier this month, Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton announced a new $100,000 no-interest down payment aid program for up to 10 police officers and 10 firefighters as an incentive to live in the city.
The pilot program went into effect immediately and allows first responders to realize $100,000 in home equity over a decade, according to a news release from the city.
First responders throughout the U.S. may be eligible for various mortgage plans that provide state, local and government homeownership benefits. But the Bloomington plan is offered at the local level.
The program is designed to help attract and retain first responders. It also helps firefighters and police officers afford homes near their workplaces and may help get them involved in the community they serve.
“Both our fire and police departments hold the highest national accreditations thanks to ongoing innovation, training, and long-term planning,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “We are extremely pleased to offer this innovative housing incentive and consider it a wise investment in public safety and the future of our community. Making it easier for firefighters and sworn police officers to live here just makes sense. As always, I’m deeply thankful for the dedicated people who put their lives on the line every time they put on their uniforms, and I look forward to more of them living in our community.”
The program will be funded with a combination of one-time American Rescue Plan Act funds and ongoing annual budgets from the Bloomington Police Department and the Bloomington Fire Department.
The city is collaborating with local banks and other financial institutions to implement the program, which can be combined with any external homebuyer supports.
The city also has been offering incentives such as signing bonuses and rental and down payment assistance.