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No community is complete without decent, affordable and fair housing.

Northampton County's DCED works with various agencies, programs, and governmental and private funders to help all of our residents improve their quality of life through housing.  While we do not directly provide assistance to individuals, we support a number of programs designed to help those who need help, from our veterans who may become homeless to our seniors who are struggling to maintain their homes. 

If you or someone you know needs help with housing issues, please see the tabs below.

If you are a provider or developer who wants to help create affordable housing solutions, please refer to the, "DCED Grant & Loan Programs," tab at the left side of this page for current and archived funding opportunities.


 Foreclosure

Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development sponsors the Community Action Financial Services' Foreclosure Mitigation program through Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV).  ​If you are facing foreclosure of your mortgage, please find more information at CACLV  or contact them at (610) 691-5620.

 My First Home

 

The Northampton County First-Time Homebuyer Program provides loans to eligible first-time buyers of Northampton County homes. These loans provide up to $5,000 to help with the cost of the house and closing costs.  We secure the investment in our communities by placing a lien on the property for 5 years or until the property is sold. For each year you stay in your home, 20% of the loan is forgiven. The loan is completely forgiven if the homebuyer stays in the house for at least 5 years.

Getting Started

- There must be an Agreement of Sale to apply.

- You must obtain your primary mortgage from one of the partner financial institutions listed below in order to receive this loan. These institutions are local, have experience with the program, and have a strong record of meeting federal requirements for investment in our communities (CRA). The lender will determine your eligibility and will calculate the amount of the subordinated mortgage required to enable you to purchase the house. The lender will submit a copy of its calculations and your application to us for review.

- You must complete a HUD certified/affiliated Homebuyer Education Counseling Program from an accredited agency before closing. Links to these programs are provided below.

- Your annual household income cannot exceed 80% of the median income for the Lehigh Valley as determined by HUD. The limits are as follows:

2015 Family Size Maximum Annual Income Limits (adjusted annually per HUD Income Guidelines)

# IN

HOUSEHOLD

MAXIMUM ANNUAL

INCOME

1$39,900
2$45,600
3$51,300
4$56,950
5$61,550
6$66,100
7$70,650
8$75,200

There is no limit on the price of the home you are purchasing, but the lender will determine if the primary mortgage and escrowed costs are within your ability to pay.

Homeowners should understand that they are purchasing a financial product when entering into a mortgage. Before taking this step, you are strongly encouraged to contact one of the Lehigh Valley's homeownership counseling agencies to ensure they understand the process and are purchasing the right product for your household.

 

Approved List of Homebuyer Education Agencies

Contact for information and upcoming classes:

Community Action Committee*     

of the Lehigh Valley    

1337 East  5th Street

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017     * Available in Spanish

610-691-5620

 

Neighborhood Housing Services*

of the Lehigh Valley

239 North 10th Street

Allentown, Pennsylvania 18102

610-437-4571

 

CCCS of Northeastern  PA    

411 Main Street, Suite 102
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360-2477

800-220-2733

 

An updated listing of approved agencies throughout Pennsylvania is also available at the Department Of Housing and Urban Development 

Approved Lending Partners

American Bank:  610-973-8117

ESSA Bank & Trust:  570-421-0531

Lafayette Ambassador Bank:  610-332-7125

BB&T Bank:  610-807-5891

Merchant Bank:  484-548-6124

Quaint Oak Mortgage:  610-351-9970

Caliber Home Loans:  484-635-2132

 

What Happens if I Need to Sell or Refinance?  

If you live in your home for a period of five (5) years, the subordinated mortgage will be forgiven. The County will file a Satisfaction Piece and mail a copy to you for your records. 

If you need to sell the home within the first five (5) years, the balance of the loan is due and payable in full at settlement (with 20% forgiven for each year of ownership).

If the homeowner refinances the original mortgage, the Northampton County mortgage may be subordinated to the new first mortgage. The Guidelines for this process are below.

Subordination Guidelines

Because this program is meant to help households with limited incomes achieve stable homeownership, the County must ensure that any subordination of its position will have a long-term benefit to the Borrower.  Northampton County will subordinate its mortgages to a new primary lender under the following circumstances:

1.   The borrower continues to own and occupy the premises as the borrower's primary residence; and
2.   The borrower will benefit by securing an interest rate at least 1% less than the existing rate on his or her first mortgage; and
3.   The new first mortgage is a conventional fixed rate mortgage with no balloon payments and no pre-payment penalty; and
4.   The borrower does not receive any cash out for any purpose, including but not limited to, home improvement loans, bill consolidation loans, lines of credit, future advances, personal loans, medical collections, other mortgages or encumbrances or liens; and
5. Borrower is current with payment of property taxes.

Submission Requirements

The Northampton County DCED must receive the following to consider a request for subordination:

1. Written request from the borrower explaining the purpose for the request. The borrower's name, address and telephone number; lender's name, address, telephone and fax numbers; and the Closing Agent/Title Company contact person, address and telephone number. 

2. Copy of Northampton County's existing recorded second mortgage.

3. Details of the loan being requested, including the Truth in Lending statement, first three (3) pages of the appraisal, the proposed mortgage documents and a copy of the Good Faith Estimate or Settlement Statement.

Approval Process

  • Within seven (7) business days, lender will receive an approval/denial letter or request for additional information from Northampton County DCED.
  • If the request for subordination is approved, Northampton County will complete and execute a Subordination Agreement. The County must review a copy of the HUD-l Closing Statement prior to release of the County's executed Subordination Agreement. 
  • If a title company supplies the title company's FedEx (or any overnight carrier) account number, the County will overnight the executed Subordination Agreement. 
  • Please allow up to five (5) business days for preparation of the Subordination Agreement. 
  • Lender/title company is responsible for recording the original Sub-ordination Agreement and forwarding recorded original to the Northampton County DCED.


Additional Programs

In addition to our program, there are other programs available through the state and federal government to help homebuyers. Ask one of the participating lenders for information. You can also see what programs are currently offered at:

Federal Home Loan Bank

PA Housing Finance Agency

Additional Questions?

David Hughes - Northampton County DCED - 610-829-6315 or dhughes@northamptoncounty.org

 Housing Discrimination

​Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development sponsors the Fair Housing Project through North Penn Legal Services.  ​If you believe that you have been the victim of housing discrimination, please contact North Penn Legal Services at (610) 317-8757.

 Equal Opportunity Housing

​​Northampton County supports Equal Opportunity and Fair Housing and does not discriminate in any of its grant programs on the basis of race, color, creed, ethnicity, sex, familial status, age, religion, or disability. No displacement may occur as a result of activities funded with CDBG.

 Homelessness Resources

​Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development administers resources for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing through Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown..  If your family is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please call (610) 435-1541.  Emergency Shelter Services information and referrals for shelter can be found by calling 211.

 Home Repair

​Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development sponsors the homeowner-occupied housing rehabilitation program administered by the Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust.  ​If your home is in need of rehabilitation, please find more information at Home Rehab Assist or call (610) 691-5620.

 Rental Assistance

​Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development administers resources for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing through Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown..  If your family is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please call (610) 435-1541.

 Utility Bill Assistance

​Northampton County Department of Community & Economic Development administers resources for assistance with utility bills through Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown.  If your family is in need of assistance with past due utility bills, please call (610) 435-1541.

Further information on programs designed to provide assistance with utility bills can be found Utility Bill Assistance

 

 Redeveloping Neighborhoods

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