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updated: 7/8/2014 7:01 AM

Illinois housing agency sees record number of buyers

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Housing Development Authority reports more than 4,500 home-buyers have reserved over $500 million in mortgage financing. Officials say that's a record in the agency's 30 years of mortgage lending.

The agency says it is a success story that comes as experts recognize the importance of first-time home-buyers in pushing economic development.

The Housing Development Authority uses unique ways to help. Officials say the agency offers 30-year fixed-rate loans, competitive interest rates and as much as $10,000 in down-payment assistance.

A key program is the governor's Welcome Home Illinois. It offers $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.75 percent for a 30-year mortgage. The agency also offers special programs for veterans or those who choose to buy a vacant property.

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