State officials today celebrated a dramatic boost in the program that helps low- and moderate-income Iowans buy a home. The Iowa Finance Authority’s “First Home” program helped over 12-hundred Iowa borrowers make a down payment and pay closing costs last year. “First Home” loaned a total of 83-million dollars, nearly twice the amount loaned out the year before. Governor Tom Vilsack says home ownership symbolizes the American dream, and helps folks establish roots.Vilsack says since September 11th, there’s been a focus on security, and he says states have a responsibility to ensure a public education, adequate health care and home ownership are within reach of all citizens.Joe O’Hern, director of the Iowa office for Fannie Mae — the largest provider of capital for residential mortgages, says home loans spark the economy because homeowners buy furniture, appliances, paint, carpeting and other items.
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