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Real Estate News


Mayors of San Bernardino and Riverside Launch a New Home Ownership Program Designed to Help Working Individuals and Families Overcome Barriers to Home Ownership

Article Editor: Christopher Laird Simmons

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - November 15, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Today, at press conferences held at their respective city halls the Mayors of San Bernardino and Riverside joined with other members of the Riverside-San Bernardino Housing and Finance Agency (RSBHFA) to announce the launch of a new home ownership program designed to overcome the biggest barriers to home ownership. Called Public Lease-Purchase, this government-sponsored initiative eliminates the need for a down payment and the program pays all of the buyer's closing costs. Additionally, the program is available to persons with credit problems.

Mayor Pro Tem Chas Kelley of San Bernardino stated that "many working individuals and families have good, stable jobs but still find it very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the dream of home ownership. That is why I am happy to support the launch of this new initiative."

Mayor Ronald Loveridge of Riverside concurred and added that "Public Lease-Purchase is one of the few affordable housing initiatives available to moderate-income households. These days' middle-income families need help buying a home."

RSBHFA is a non-profit, regional housing agency created through the membership of local governments in Riverside and San Bernardino. RSBHFA is charged with expanding affordable housing and economic development opportunities for its members. Since 2001 a pilot version of the lease-purchase home ownership program operated and many families were assisted. Based on this success, RSBHFA's Board of Directors approved a new version of the program, called Public Lease-Purchase that will be available on a permanent basis throughout RSBHFA's member communities (see list below).

Public Lease-Purchase offers qualified home buyers a 30-year rate and term-reset mortgage with no down payment. The program pays all of the closings costs. Up to the first 72 months of the mortgage is a lease-option period during which time the home and the mortgage are held by RSBHFA. The home buyer, called the lease-purchaser, makes a lease payment that is equivalent to the mortgage payment plus taxes and insurance. Since the lease payment is used to pay down the mortgage, the lease-purchaser effectively builds equity during the lease period.

Participants can also use the lease-option period to rebuild their credit record. Lease-purchasers can exercise their purchase option any time 12 months after the initiation of the lease by assuming the existing mortgage or by obtaining new financing. Consumers can choose any home, new or existing, including single-family homes, condominium and town homes. The maximum purchase price is $475,000.

Adam Eliason, RSBHFA's Executive Director, stated he is "confident that this new initiative will allow the Agency to serve even more home buyers in Riverside County and in the City of San Bernardino." Mr. Eliason noted that one of the great things about Public Lease Purchase is that it represents a new home buying resource; it does not rely on or take away from existing government subsidies or conventional lending programs. This is particularly important in a time when local governments in Riverside and San Bernardino are finding their resources very stretched. He also encouraged other jurisdictions in Riverside County and San Bernardino County to consider joining the initiative by becoming an RSBHFA member.

Public Lease-Purchase also expands business opportunities for mortgage and real estate professionals as it opens up the home buying market to more households. Rich Gale, President of Provident Bank Mortgage and one of the program lenders participated in today's announcement, commented that "today's home buying market can be very challenging for moderate-income individuals. Lenders need more tools to help people get into homes. Public Lease-Purchase is a great resource. We have already helped four families get into a home through the program."

Prospective home buyers are encouraged to learn more about the program and to start the application process through the Internet by visiting Additionally, in order to help get the word out about the Public Lease-Purchase initiative, free Home Buyer Information Workshops have been scheduled as follows:

San Bernardino
Saturday, November 20, 2004
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Feldheym Central Library 
555 West 6th Street 
San Bernardino. 


Saturday, December 4, 2004
Riverside City Hall
City Council Chambers
3900 Main Street, Riverside

For a complete list of additional workshops and other program information call (877) 873-1988.

The following communities are members of the Riverside San Bernardino Housing and Finance Agency: Chino, Corona, Colton, Hemet, Highland, Norco, Perris, Redlands, Rialto, City of Riverside, City of San Bernardino, Beaumont, Blythe, Cathedral City, Murrieta, Moreno Valley, San Jacinto, Temecula, and the unincorporated areas of Riverside County. The Public Lease-Purchase program is also available in the cities of Apple Valley, Hesperia and Adelanto through the Pacific Housing and Finance Agency.

    Organization Website:
    Source of News: Riverside San Bernardino Housing and Finance Agency

    Note: for contact information at the organization mentioned in the above PRESS RELEASE, visit the "organization website" (if applicable), or view either version of the original news release using the links below. Send2Press cannot provide contact info.

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References: affordable housing, home ownership, homeownership, no down payment, flexible credit, working families, mortgage finance, help for home buyers, San Bernardino, Housing and Finance Agency. RSBHFA, Public Lease-Purchase

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