New Detroit program aims to revitalize neighborhoods

The mayor of Detroit calls it a game-changer, a new program in the city aimed at revitalizing neighborhoods  by helping home-buyers get the money they need.

Buying a home in the city of Detroit is far from easy, you have to consider the sales price, what the property is actually worth and if you can even get a loan.

If you want to buy a house that's being sold for $60,000, but it's appraised at $50,000, you likely won't get a bank to back you on that deal.

However, Mayor Mike Duggan says you don't have the same problem in the suburbs.

"You can buy a $200,000 house in Ferndale, same income, same credit score," Duggan said. "We're driving people out of the city."

Although more people are starting to move back in the city, the housing market in Detroit hasn't fully repaired itself from 2008.

About 3,000 homes were bought last year, but only 500 of those buyers got a mortgage.

So to increase homeownership, roughly $115 million is being invested by several banks and private sectors in the Detroit home mortgage initiative to bridge the gap between the sales price and the appraisal value - and to also help people make renovations.

The breakdown of how it works is, if you have a good credit score and the income to make the payments, you can now get a first mortgage for the appraised value of the house, and a second mortgage up to $75,000.

"It's a great program," said Antoine Parker. "My wife and I are renting, we're working to save money to buy a house, so it's a great program."

At Greenview and Puritan you will see a lot of beautiful homes. Part of the problem is, too many of these homes are not owned, but rented.

"It's taking a toll on me because I could be putting that money into buying a house," Parker said.

"You have got houses in this neighborhood right now that look like this that are renting out at $1,000 a month," Duggan said. "And the renter could buy it if they could get a mortgage for $750 a month."

Duggan says while the city is still working to repair its housing market, most of the suburbs in the metropolitan area have already done so.

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