On it’s face, the Florida Hometown Heroes home buyers program seemed to have it’s heart in the right place. It aimed to give Florida first responders and veterans financial assistance to buy a home in the middle of our worst affordable housing crisis in history.
But it hasn’t helped the ones who needed assistance the most. Including the person typing these words.
Subsidized from funds that are traditionally used to build affordable housing in Florida, the Hometown Heroes program turned out to be just another device to help the real estate industry instead.
Most lenders I contacted never heard of it. Others listed it’s criteria, which shuts out struggling veterans, while most real estate salespeople don’t want the hassle of going through those extra steps, when they can just take a cash offer from an investor instead.
Ultimately, your Hometown Heroes are still left without a home.
And if you’re a veteran, you’ve got your VA home loan which can be terrifically useful, but the Florida real estate salespeople don’t want to touch those either.
Ultimately, we would have been better off just leaving the money in the original affordable housing fund. That way at least some of us would still get to use it.
Instead, we remain struggling. If you’re like myself, you’ve already been priced out of your hometown. I can’t afford to live in Orlando anymore.
And there are others who are on the street, and living in cars and motels.
Forget the catchy names and press conferences. Really, we would have just preferred a stable roof over our heads.
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