Pima Industrial Development Authority Extends LIGHTHOUSE 4.0

The Pima County Industrial Development Authority has announced the extension of the highly successful PimaTucson LIGHTHOUSE program, an initiative designed to empower first-time homebuyers in today’s higher interest rate mortgage market. With another commitment of $25 million of bonds, LIGHTHOUSE 4.0 is able to offer a below-market fixed-rate mortgage that also comes with substantial down payment assistance equal to 4% of the loan amount.

The extension of the program is a direct response to a housing market that has become increasingly less affordable for homebuyers. The median single-family home price in Pima County has increased over 50% since the end of 2019, from $252,750 to $394,700. In that same time, federal interest rates, which mortgage interest rates are tied to, rose from 2.5% to 8.5%. These two economic factors have made it much harder for the average Pima County resident to buy a home.

“The approval of this next phase of the LIGHTHOUSE program is an example of how we are working to make it easier for more people to become homeowners,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Adelita S. Grijalva. “The assistance and security this program provides will allow families and individuals across Pima County to put down roots and contribute to the well-being of our community.”

The Pima IDA and Pima County Board of Supervisors have established a bond-funded down payment assistance program that also locks in a fixed rate low-interest mortgage of 6.13%. LIGHTHOUSE 4.0 also includes a distinctive feature where the 4% down payment assistance will become a grant if buyers live in their homes for at least five years. On average, this 4% assistance equates to approximately $15,000. Given that almost 40% of potential homebuyers say the lack of a down payment is preventing them from moving into a home, the LIGHTHOUSE 4.0 program is addressing the biggest obstacle facing first-time homebuyers. Importantly, the interest rate remains unaffected even if the Federal Reserve chooses to increase interest rates, offering homebuyers a sense of security in uncertain times.

“The initial launch of the LIGHTHOUSE program has provided Pima County homebuyers with a successful tool to boost homeownership,” said Pima IDA Board President Diane Quihuis. “Given the current market and interest rate environment, a program like LIGHTHOUSE 4.0 is an essential tool to support community members to realize their dreams of homeownership.”

Given the anticipated first-come, first served demand for LIGHTHOUSE 4.0, it is expected that the funds will be fully allocated before the summer of 2024. Lenders interested in offering the program can obtain detailed information at pimatucsonlighthouse.com.

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