Community Outreach and Homebuyer Selection Policy
This policy is intended to guide the development and implementation of both program and project- specific community outreach and homebuyer selection procedures administered by the Northwest Montana Community Land Trust (NWMTCLT). This policy shall be reviewed on a regular basis by the NWMTCLT Board of Directors for effectiveness in guiding the organization in the pursuit of its mission.
Provide as many opportunities as possible to low and moderate income households to secure decent, safe, and affordable home ownership; and
Focus on the preservation of quality, affordable housing for future low- and moderate-income residents and underserved communities in the cities of northwest Montana; and
Preserve and encourage economic diversity in the cities of northwest Montana; and
Select the best match between households and housing units using price, household size and housing unit size as a guide.
3. COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND MARKETING
NWMTCLT is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider and conducts business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law. When the NWMTCLT has a home/housing unit available for sale/resale it may use the following process:
Mail informational flyers to organizations and persons on the contact waiting list
Put a FOR SALE sign on the property
Outreach to affordable housing, neighborhood, and community organizations on available property.
Advertise home for sale in local newspapers.
List the home through the Multiple Listing Service, neighborhood newspapers, community service announcements, etc.
4. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Eligibility Criteria – the following criteria reflect the NWMTCLT’s stated homebuyer education goals listed above.
A. Age must be 18 in Montana to qualify for a mortgage.
B. Citizen of United States or registered alien.
C. Home ownership Education – Must receive certification prior to final loan closing through the NeighborWorks Homeowner Center through CAP.
D. CLT Orientation – Must have either attended CLT Orientation and/or have received NWMTCLT one-on- one CLT education/counseling.
E. Maximum Income – Must be at or below120% of the area median income as defined by the U.S. Department of HUD at the time of purchase, demonstrate sense of ownership of financial obligations and history of responsible effort to meet them.
F. Minimum Income – A household must have sufficient income to support housing costs. The household must be pre-qualified for a mortgage as evidenced by a letter from a lending institution.
G. Affordability – In general, this means the cost of housing does not exceed 30% (PITI) of the
household’s monthly income.
H. Assets – A review of household assets should clearly indicate a limited ability to compete successfully in the conventional housing market. Liquid assets (savings, checking, money market, existing home equity, stocks, or cash).
I. Mortgage – The NWMTCLT prefers that homeowners qualify using 30-year fixed rate mortgages provided by NWMTCLT partner lenders, or the USDA/Rural Development 502 Guaranteed Loan program. Adjustable Rate Mortgage approvals are accepted, provided they are fixed-rate for at least five years and are otherwise responsible loan products.
NWMTCLT Appeals Procedure
An applicant has the right to appeal a decision made by the NWMTCLT. The appeals process follows the order below. In an event that the applicant's concerns are not adequately addressed at the first level, the applicant may appeal to the next level.
The NWMTCLT is not responsible for a mortgage lender's decision of credit worthiness. Appeals cannot be made to NWMTCLT when a mortgage lender has denied credit.
1. Selection Committee: Appeals can be brought in person or in writing to the Selection Committee. The Committee will hear the complaint and explain to the applicant the process used to come to its decision. The Committee will privately deliberate and provide a written decision to the person filing the complaint within 30 days.
2. Board of Directors: An appeal can be brought in person or in writing to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will provide its decision in writing within 30 days.
3. Independent Appeals Committee: Appeals in writing or in person can be brought to this committee. This committee is made up of people independent of the NWMTCLT who have professional experience in affordable housing, community land trusts, tenancy review, and/or fair housing law.
The NWMTCLT will provide to the Independent Review Committee the materials it used in processing the decision, explanation of how the decision was determined, and the notification letter and an explanation for the decision in the notification letter. The Committee will review the materials provided by both parties and make a decision in writing within 30 days.