Report highlights local home-affordability initiatives.


State and local governments in search of proven methods of addressing affordable housing should look at home-affordability programs established in some of the nation's largest cities, according to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Homeownership Alliance.

The Homeownership Alliance's report, Affordable Homes: Best Practices for America, surveyed the top 20 municipalities nationwide to reveal effective best practices the municipal areas have undertaken to increase affordable homeownership.

By identifying these existing best practices, the Homeownership Alliance said it hopes to foster information-sharing among state and local housing officials that will encourage widespread, lasting progress on the issue of housing affordability.

"The initiatives summarized represent both demand- and supply-side efforts to make homeownership more affordable," stated the report.

Among the initiatives recommended:

* Homeownership tax credits of up to $5,000 in tax relief to low- and moderate-/middle-income first-time home-buyers.

* Housing-cost assistance programs in which agencies provide funds for eligible participation to use toward the cost of owning a home. Depending on the particular program, assistance can go toward loan down...

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