This week I talk with Kevin Elsenheimer, the executive director of Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
Dave: Kevin thank you for being here I wanted to let people know a little bit about MSHDA and what is MSHDA. What function is it serving here in Michigan?
Kevin: MSHDA is the state’s housing bank basically we are part of state government but we’re a little bit different because we can provide loans to individuals. The Constitution says the state of Michigan can’t do that. We have a particular charter that allows us to act as the state’s bank and we do several different things for example; we do multifamily development and lending for low-income housing projects around the state but we also have a very robust single-family loan program where we’ll go out and buy mortgages from banks credit unions around the state that we have clients that will be interested in our products.
Dave: ok so one of the things that you do is help young families become first-time homeowners can you explain a little bit about that?
Kevin: That’s an important focus for us and our board. We have a program I called Michigan’s first home or Mifirsthome.org where we will provide up to 7,500 dollars in down payment assistance for someone seeking that first mortgage and in some cases even someone seeking to renew a mortgage or refinance. All the information is on our website but it’s a great program for that young millennial that is graduating college and looking for that first home opportunity.
Dave: I think people feel like they can’t save up the down payment. When I heard about the program, I was just really impressed.
Kevin: It’s been a great program and it’s something that we know we are able to do because of the success of MSHDA over the last 50 years. Our Success has put us in a position of strength so that we can basically afford to give this loan out to people. It is a loan the 7500 dollars will have to be repaid. It’s not repaid until the end of the mortgage or when you sell the home and there’s no interest. I don’t know about you but $7500 today vs. $7500 in 30 years…
Dave: Yes, interest-free loan. That’s great! Especially for people who can’t save up the down payment with student loans that are involved in today’s first time home buyer. Is it just for first-time home buyers or is there a limit to how long ago you could have purchased your first house?
Kevin: Yes there is there is some accessibility to the 7500 dollars for a second home what I recommend that people go to our web page. We have a great eligibility tool that we just put on there that’s very simple very quick and we’ll walk you through the different steps to find out whether or not you’re eligible for either the 7500 dollars down payment assistance for the MI first home or MI next home.
Dave: Great I’ll put a link down below to your website but is there any anything else that you wanted to talk about as far as what MSHDA does here in Michigan? I know you also develop large complex’s as well you talked a little bit about that?
Kevin: MSHDA invests using federal tax credits and low-income housing projects, all over the state. The great thing about these projects is they rehabilitating a lot of wonderful old structures. You and I talked about Muskegon, we’ve also done great projects in grand rapids, the Klingon loss lots of projects, in Detroit to, all over the state, Traverse City, Marquette. Basically, here’s a large demand for low-income housing for people who are working, people have income but just can’t affordable places near where they work, particularly in some of the more successful communities. We do a lot of that development, I told you were a bank, we take the money that we earn and rather than distributed to shareholders, we distribute it to the homeless, it is our stated mission from the state of Michigan. By helping the homeless problem, the revenues that we make, the profit that we make goes to help homeless people in the state of Michigan.
Dave: MSHDA is unique to Michigan are there other programs like this in other states?
Kevin: Every state in the country has what’s called a Housing Finance Authority.
Kevin: We’re not unique, we were one of the first! Every state now has a Housing Finance Authority. There not all as good as Michigan!
Dave: That’s right! Kevin, Thanks so much for being here.