Dallas Homebuyer Assistance Program Suspended

Dozens of low income families hoping to become homeowners in Dallas have been left in the lurch.

They had been on their way to receiving up to $20,000 from the city to help them purchase a home.

The program is called the Dallas Homebuyer Assistance Program.

On its website, the city states that the ‘program funding has been temporarily suspended until further advised.’

The city is working to fix issues with how it runs the federally-funded program, before it can resume the program.

This ‘pause’ in the program affects nearly 60 families, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The program has been in place for more than 20 years.

It is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

It provides qualifying families up to $20,000 to be used on a down payment or closing costs of a home in the city limits.

The maximum sales price for the home may not exceed $195,000 for existing properties and $224,000 for new construction, according to the city’s website.

HUD says during a review, it found significant deficiencies in the city’s management and oversight of the program from 2011-2015.

Some issues raised included not properly vetting families’ incomes, leading some families to get too little or too much money from the program. Recording keeping problems were also found in which the city overstated how many people have actually received help, according to HUD.

Treballa Wheeler benefited from the program in 2014.

“Who doesn’t want their own home,” said Wheeler with a smile. “Who wants to rent?”

Wheeler thought becoming a homeowner was an unattainable goal for many years.

“I was staying in Mesquite,” she said. “In this house. It had a swimming pool in the back yard. It was nice. It was a 3-bedroom house. And the lady up and wanted to sell it, so I had to move. That made me just, I’m going to get my own. Nobody will ever be able to put me out.”

Wheeler credits the program for helping her achieve her dream and hopes others can benefit too.

“I would tell those people to hang on,” she said. “I wouldn’t give up. Just hang on because hopefully it’ll come back. It has to right?”

Wheeler says becoming a homeowner has been incredible.

She recently remodeled her floors and has other plans.

“I’m going to get a shed for the back,” she said with a smile. “I can do whatever I want to do. It’s mine.”

A spokesman for HUD told NBC 5 today the city of Dallas is responding to the issues found during their review. However, there is no timetable as to when the city will be able to start issuing money again.

The city’s new housing director, David Noguera, told the Dallas Morning News that the city is sitting on several hundred thousand dollars in assistance money, some which is set to expire in September.

Noguera was out of town on Friday and was not able to comment further, according to city staff.

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