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Denver City Council extends mortgage credit program to assist new home-buyers

Denver City Council last night approved the 2017 Mortgage Credit Certificate Program. It is a continuation of the successful 2016 program which through mid-April has provided tax credits to 128 eligible program participants. Denver's 2017 Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program allows qualifying borrowers to receive an annual federal income tax credit equal to 25% of the annual interest they pay on their mortgage loan ($2,000/year maximum).

“Helping Denver residents achieve homeownership provides them with a solid foundation in which to build future success right here in our city,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “A good home is a family’s greatest asset, and this program has been a great tool to help families make their dream a more affordable prospect.”

The MCC tax credit enables a taxpayer to claim a credit against his or her annual total federal income taxes. Borrowers may choose to adjust their W-4 withholding to account for the tax-credit benefit and receive a higher net monthly income. Any excess credit from the MCC may be carried forward for up to three subsequent tax years.

“Home ownership is the dream of many Denver residents. The MCC program is a tremendous asset for first time and new home buyers who could use that extra assistance to help make that dream their reality,” said Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon.

The program is available to qualifying borrowers who meet standard loan guidelines and specific household income limits. Participants cannot have owned a home in the past three years, unless they are a veteran or buying a home in a targeted area.

Using an MCC has the potential to save qualified homeowners thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage. For example, for the purchase price of $251,000 with 3.5% down payment and a 5% mortgage rate (for a 30-year loan), $47,393 could be claimed as a credit over the life of the loan.

Eligible low- and moderate-income home buyers can combine their tax credit with Denver’s Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus Program, also known as the Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides a 4% down payment grant in exchange for a slightly higher mortgage interest rate.

Over the life of both programs, Denver has aided over 1,400 Denver- and metro-area families seeking to buy a house through Denver’s Down Payment Assistance Program and Mortgage Certificate Programs. As a result, over $300 million in mortgages have been generated through these programs.

The ordinance passed by City Council last night will extend the program to December 31, 2019. To learn more about the MCC or Down Payment Assistance Program, visit www.denvergov.org/housing.