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JHAP2 program begins closing on homes of first recipients

Monday was a big day for the City of Joplin.

The first recipients of the Joplin Housing Assistance Program (JHAP) 2 are closing on homes.

“We are so excited to be closing on our very first JHAP program,” Tami Marlay, a Business Development Specialist with First American Title said. “We have a great team here who has worked really hard to get together the whole community and to actually bring home ownership to the community of Joplin.”

JHAP2 is designed as a down-payment assistance program for low-to-moderate-income families. Those who qualify and are accepted receive up to $40,000 for a down payment on a home. 

“I think this is a fantastic day to celebrate it because if you turn on the cable news today, you hear that nobody can afford to buy a home in America anymore,” Joplin Mayor Keenan Cortez said. “Your income has to be way up there to do that. Well, the City of Joplin, through a state ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] grant is able to provide low-to-moderate-income families with an opportunity for down-payment assistance, which gets them into home ownership.

“We’re excited that, today, we’re going to be closing some of those JHAP loans. It’s been a long process, but all of the planning, preparation and prayer that has gone into that is coming to fruition today. It’s a great day in Joplin.”

The grant provides $3 million in down-payment assistance for potential homebuyers who apply and are accepted for the JHAP2 program. 

The goal of the program is to help families afford owning a home who otherwise may not be able to. With interest rates and the costs of homes at an all-time high, JHAP2 gives Joplin families a chance to own a home. 

“I think there’s a merry-go-round that happens,” said Flat Branch Senior Mortgage Lender Sam Hickey. Once the merry-go-round gets going too fast, you can’t jump on or off anymore. If you waited to buy a home, the rates have gone up and the prices have also gone up. Getting on that merry-go-round while it’s already moving is tough to do. … I think the JHAP program has made a big impact in that regard.”

This is the first of three grant-funded housing programs the City of Joplin is launching this year to strengthen neighborhoods and boost investment across the city. 

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