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State

State officials announce homebuyer assistance

CHICAGO — State officials are beefing up assistance available for first-time homebuyers.

A program announced Tuesday helps new homebuyers get $7,500 in down payment help on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. It builds on existing programs, including those for veterans.

Illinois Housing Development Authority spokeswoman Cami Freeman says "Welcome Home Illinois" has a better interest rate and more down payment help than previously offered.

The money for the down payments comes from state capital funds set aside for affordable housing. The mortgage program is funded by the housing authority, which generates revenue from bond proceeds.

Gov. Pat Quinn said last week he'd help first-time homebuyers. His proposed budget, which calls for making permanent the state's income tax increase, also includes a plan to give all Illinois property taxpayers a $500 homeowners' refund.

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