Columbia homeowner assistance program under review

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COLUMBIA - A City of Columbia department that helps low-income families fulfill the dream of home ownership will review its programs Thursday. 

The Columbia Development Department will examine how successful the Homeownership Assistance Neighborhood Development Program has been this past year.

Since 1997, the program has assisted 48 homeowners within the Columbia city limits with up to $30,000 toward new construction projects like Habitat for Humanity homes built by non-profit organizations. A separate program works by giving families who meet certain income qualifications $7,500 or 7.5% of a home's value whichever is smaller, in the form of a ten year forgivable and interest free loan.

In turn, the families attend programs that focus on their credit history and the process of buying and paying for their home. This program also helps families who need to repair their homes.

The number of families who have been assisted has been growing since 2010.

Thursday's presentation will examine the effectiveness of the program using metrics like long-term affordability and average appreciation rates. 

The information will be presented by a group of MU students from the Truman School of Public Affairs on Thursday at 4 p.m. at City Hall. 

[This story and its headline have been updated for clarity.]