Applying for the Program

First Steps

Monthly Homebuyers Workshops are offered free of charge to citizens by the City of East Orange.

Prospective homebuyers needing assistance for acquisition, and, in some instances, rehabilitation, must attend a housing counseling class sponsored by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and receive a certificate.

Please note that certificates are only good for 12 months from the date of issue.

Preliminary Application

When a potential applicant visits the office, a staff member (a receptionist trained to do telephone interviews or a NH&R HOMEBuyer Purchase Program staff person assigned to intake) briefly describes the program and completes a "preliminary application" detailing information obtained during the conversation. The preliminary application is used not only to document applicant information, but also to assess the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Attached to the preliminary application is a Certification that must be completed by the homebuyer.

Initial Determination

After reviewing the preliminary application, the HOMEBuyers Purchase Program staff person makes an initial determination of eligibility. If the applicant appears eligible, staff person contacts the applicant by phone and letter, and schedules an interview at the office. The staff notifies the applicant to read and respond to the "items to bring to the interview" list that details the financial documents that are required in order to continue the application process.

Please note that if the applicant is clearly ineligible, the NH&R staff person will inform him/her in writing that they do not qualify. If known, the staff will refer ineligible applicants to other resources in the community.

Notification of Decision

After the Housing Manager has carefully reviewed the total HOMEBuyers Purchase Program costs as well as the type and amount of financial assistance the homebuyer is requesting, a letter of notification is sent to the homebuyer notifying him/her of the decision.

A letter of notification will inform the homebuyer of:
  • Their eligibility to receive financial assistance
  • The amount of assistance
  • Any conditions under which the assistance is offered

Disbursal of Funds & Regulations

Funds will be disbursed from the HOME Program account in accordance with City of East Orange procedures and federal and state regulations. Basically, these procedures and regulations are designed to assure that approved funds are properly expended on eligible homebuyer's costs, and may be summarized as:
  1. A lien will be placed on the property and recorded in the Essex County Hall of Records to assure the HOMEBuyers Purchase Program deferred payment loan is repaid in the event of a default under the loan terms and conditions.
  2. All payments will be made in accordance with City's HOMEBuyers Purchase Program vouchering procedures and will require proper verifications and certifications.
  3. Certificate of Occupancy documentation must be provided to the loan advisor at the time of final eligibility determination.
  4. At the closing, before a City check is released, the homebuyer's attorney must provide a signed HUD-1 RESPA form, and a Title Insurance binder.