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Homeownership has been an essential element of the American Dream for decades and continues to be so today. The benefits of homeownership are many and far-reaching. Studies show that homeownership has a positive social impact in communities, such as heightened civic participation, increased educational achievement, lower crime rates, raising property values, and homeowners maintain and improve their properties relative to renters. Overall, higher rates of homeownership correspond to more stable neighborhoods and communities.
Financially, the housing sector is a huge part of our economy, accounting for a large percentage of total economic activity (15.6% in 2015). However, rising costs of housing and crippling student loan debt are impacting younger generations and their ability to achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Saving for a down payment and closing costs can be challenging. A First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account (FHSA) Program will provide an opportunity for residents to save and grow funds to apply towards the purchase of a home.