The Greensboro City Council did not approve the Community Heroes program to provide down payment assistance to city and county employees and veterans at the Tuesday, Dec. 6 meeting.

The City Council did not even discuss the proposed program but, without discussion, voted unanimously to continue that agenda item to the next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

The Rhino Times reported on Monday, Dec. 5, that the City Council had a lot of questions and concerns about the proposed down payment assistance program at the Oct. 27 work session “and evidently those changes were made in one-on-one or small group meetings.”  According to one member of the City Council, there were no one-on-one or small group meetings and the questions and concerns were not resolved, which is why the vote and even the discussion on the proposed program was continued.

The “Community Heroes” program started out as a down payment assistance program for first responders. The program that was presented at the work session had expanded those eligible for the program to city, county, state and federal employees, university and college faculty and staff, non-profit organization employees, active military and veterans and other first responders.

In short, just about anyone who isn’t self-employed or working for a private for-profit company was eligible for the loans that never have to be paid back.

The City Council objected to this expansion of eligibility, and the program on the agenda for the Dec. 6 meeting had been whittled down to city and county employees, active duty military and veterans.

Calling all city and country employees “Community Heroes” seems to be a stretch, but the name of the program has not been changed.

The program would provide what is called a loan of up to $25,000 for down payment assistance.  Except this would be a no-interest, forgivable loan – what most people would call a grant or a gift.  As long as the conditions of the loan are met, it does not have to be repaid, and the $25,000 loan is available to those who make 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income.

The income range for a two-person household is from $46,751 to $70,100.

There is no minimum investment required from the home buyer and the home buyer can receive up to $2,500 back at closing.

The City Council was in unanimous agreement that it did not want to vote on or even discuss the proposed program on Tuesday night.