Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton unveiled a program yesterday offering mortgage down payment help to local school teachers, paramedics, firefighters and police officers.

The program is an expansion of the Home in Five Advantage program created in 2012 by the Phoenix and Maricopa County industrial development authorities to help low- and middle-income buyers purchase homes.

The program offers down payment and closing-cost assistance to borrowers, military personnel and now teachers and a host of first responders.

To qualify, borrowers’ incomes must be below $88,000 per year and homes priced lower than $300,000. The program applies to homes bought in Maricopa County.

“We want to go the extra mile for our first responders and our teachers,” Stanton said.

The programs offers a home price grant of 4 percent to qualifying mortgage borrowers and adds an additional 1 percent grant for military personnel, teachers and public safety workers.

“That’s enough to give people extra boost, to be able to build the American dream, to build home ownership,” Stanton said.

Phoenix City Council members Daniel Valenzuela and Laura Pastor and Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman also were at the Tuesday announcement for the Home in Five expansion.

The program is funded from mortgage lenders and administered by the IDA.

To date, more than 7,600 individuals and families have purchased homes through the program, receiving more than $60 million in down payment assistance on $1.3 billion in loans since Home in Five launched in September 2012.

Borrowers also must go through credit checks before receiving the down payment and closing-cost assistance.

Christina Arzate, a payroll clerk with the Phoenix law firm Ryley Carlock and Applewhite in Phoenix, received $6,000 last year from the program to buy a $136,000 home in Phoenix.

Arzate, a single mother of three who had previously went through a foreclosure, said she wouldn’t have been able to buy a home without the help.

“The Home in Five program enabled me to give my children home,” she said.

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