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Program offers SC frontline workers $10K if buying first home

Teachers, law enforcement, correctional officers, firefighters, EMS, active military, National Guard, veterans and licensed medical professionals are eligible.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — SC Housing's Palmetto Heroes assistance program is open again. This program is designed to help get first responders, teachers, and active and veteran military personal into the housing market. 

One of those people is Brittany Lund. Brittany is a high school math teacher. She says this time last year, she was trying to get into the housing market, but as house prices started to soar, she says she simply couldn't afford it. 

Talking to News 19 from the house she bought, the Palmetto Heroes program applicant says this assistance enabled her to find her dream home.

“It was a crazy market when I was looking, and honestly without the Palmetto Heroes, I wouldn't have been able to afford a down payment or closing costs to buy my house," Brittany said.

RELATED: Program offers SC frontline workers $12K if buying first home

“On a teacher’s salary and with student loans I would’ve never been able to afford anything, and it made my dream of owning a house a reality.”

Chris Winston with SC Housing says this help is for those who serve their communities, with applicants receiving $10,000 in forgivable down payment assistance.

“A lot of times, people have the salary to afford the monthly payment of a home but don’t have the down payment assistance to get into that home to begin with,” Winston said. This program "helps them buy their first home with some down payment assistance to help them into that home and also low fixed interest rates.”

Shakelia LeBlanc, a lender with Premier Nationwide Lending, says teachers, law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters and EMS, active military and national guard personal, veterans and licensed medical professionals are allowed to apply.

RELATED: Housing shortage, soaring rents squeeze US college students

Palmetto Heroes 2022 is here! To thank all the teachers, medical professionals, EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, law...

Posted by SC State Housing on Monday, May 2, 2022

“I have had a lot of teachers and veterans use this program just as a resource, to get into their first home,” LeBlanc said. 

She says some of her clients wait for this funding every year. 

“I have had clients since March waiting to do this program,” LeBlanc said. “Without this program, I can’t tell you how many clients of mine would not be able to do it.”

Applications are now open and will remain open till the funds run out. SC Housing says the program is limited to first-time home buyers and each applicant has to qualify. 

The program has been in place for 15 years. According to S.C. Housing this program has helped more than 1,800 families find their first home.

RELATED: Median housing prices surpass $300,000 statewide

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