Eagle offers housing help | VailDaily.com

Eagle offers housing help

Katie Drucker
Eagle Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” It’s no secret that home ownership in the Eagle Valley can be a difficult feat to master.

The town of Eagle aspires to help by initiating a municipal down payment assistance program for employees, to help them overcome the cash-up-front problem that first-time home buyers face.

The program will be available to employees who’ve worked for the town for at least 18 months. It will provide a secured loan for the purchase of a home. Employees will be eligible for up to 15 percent of the purchase price or $50,000, whichever is smaller.

The maximum loan term is 15 years and employees must qualify for primary mortgage financing through a reputable lending institution.

The hope is that this program will keep employees from leaving and help the town recruit workers, said Willy Powell, Eagle town manager.

In 2006, the turnover rate for the Eagle Police Department was 115 percent. In the past two years only one police officer has left. Police chief Roger McLaughlin attributes this, in part, to the prospect of being able to buy a new home in the community.

“A couple of police officers are looking into buying homes and they will be hopefully utilizing this program,” McLaughlin says. “This program is also a marketing tool to recruiting new officers. It is a big selling point, moving to the mountains where property prices are so high. It can make all the difference in the world.”

One such officer is Sergeant Terry Simpkins.

“I am excited about hopefully participating in this program. It would help me become more solvent in Eagle and I certainly like it here,” says Simpkins.

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