Frequently asked questions
- Lenders and Realtors
- RHS and LTOS Program Partners
- CHDO, Subrecipients and Partners
SmartMove First time Homebuyer Program
What is the minimum credit score for IHDA?
620 on Government Loans and DU approved eligible on Conventional Loans.
How do you determine the percent (%) of DPA?
It depends on the purchase price and buyer's income. Please review the general IHDA income and purchase price limits.
Do all borrowers have to be listed on the homebuyer certificate? Sometimes the instructor only lists the first borrower.
Only one borrower has to be listed on the certificate.
Do we order the MI on the conventional through a specific MI vendor?
Lenders may choose whatever MI Company they wish to use.
Does the program allow for existing or new construction condos?
US Bank requires any condo be approved by FHA or Fannie Mae.
I currently have a condo that is NOT on the Fannie or FHA approval list. Is this condo then not eligible? How can we get the project approved?
US Bank requires any condo be approved by FHA or Fannie Mae. If it is not, then a participating lender should follow FHA or Fannie guidelines for approval.
Is the Income Certification form no longer required?
The income certification is still required at this time.
We are not a delegated underwriter. Who do we send the credit package for approval, the mortgage insurance company or US Bank?
Lenders can use whoever they wish for underwriting. US Bank can underwrite Conventional, VA, and RD loans.
Do we have to make sure the property is in a targeted or non-targeted area, and how do we do that?
It doesn't matter whether the property is located in a targeted or non-targeted area. You should know due to the income requirements, and if you are purchasing in a targeted area that you do not have to be a first-time homebuyer.
If the borrower receives 5% DPA on FHA loans, does their LTV go down to 95%, or does the LTV stay at 96.5%? Can the balance be used for closing cost?
The LTV would have to go down to 95% as the maximum CLTV for FHA is 100%.
Can the IHDA DPA be used with RD?
Yes, the IHDA DPA can be used with RD Loans.
Do we register the conventional loans a certain way in DU?
Fannie Loans must be run through DU as MCM.
Can we use additional secondary financing in the IHDA program, and can use it in conjunction with IHDA DPA?
You can use secondary financing with the program. Please note that if additional financing is being used in conjunction with the IHDA DPA assistance, the additional financing must be subordinate to the IHDA DPA. If the buyer has access to additional secondary financing, it may be advantageous to not use IHDA's DPA and get a lower rate. Any funds used other than IHDA funds must be an approved community second mortgage by FHA or Fannie Mae. Please check with IHDA when using any other secondary financing before reservation.
On Freddie Mac Loans what approval will US Bank take?
Freddie Mac Loans must be run through LP as Home Possible and have a risk class of ACCEPT.
Does US Bank accept Freddie Mac LP eligible feedback certificate?
No, this is not acceptable.
How do you calculate income?
Please refer to the SmartMove Manual.
How much money does the borrower need into the transaction?
One percent (1%) of the purchase price or $1,000, whichever is greater.
How would the DPA work with the RD product? Is the funding fee still financed and the DPA goes toward closing cost?
The DPA can be used in various ways. It can go towards closing costs, the funding fee, or down payment. The funding fee can be financed under our program. Lenders may want to contemplate using the SmartMove program without the assistance when doing RD products.
What if a borrower owns a mobile home on a rented lot permanently attached to the lot?
If the property is permanently attached to a lot, the buyer is not a first-time homebuyer and would not qualify unless they are purchasing in a targeted area.
If you have someone over 18 in the household and they are not working, how do we prove that?
If someone over 18 is not receiving income, then they would have to sign a notarized statement to that effect.
Does an attached SFR qualify for the program?
Duplexes and attached townhomes qualify for our program.
What's the difference between HomeStart and SmartMove?
SmartMove is the new name for the HomeStart Programs.
On a two-unit, can we use rental income to qualify?
It depends on the underwriting criteria of the program that you are using (FHA, VA, USDA, FNMA)
So we don't need pool insurance, just MI if the loan exceeds 80%?
Can we originate FHA loans through US Bank as a correspondent?
Currently US Bank cannot underwrite your FHA Loans. Please watch for US Bank bulletins for any changes.
Are we using MERS documents?
You can use MERS and no assignment would be necessary.
Are there any special requirements by US Bank on RD loans?
No, follow RD guidelines.
How long does it take US Bank to review loans? Also, we cleared a loan exception and received a further exception after that, can you explain the process?
US Bank strives to review loans within 4-5 business days from receipt. Conventional Loans, or 203k streamline loans may have additional reviews due to the complexity of the product. Also, if exceptions are not cleared prior to a payment being due, a loan history will be required. So please automatically include a pay history with the last exception to be cleared.
Can we manually underwrite our RD loans?
RD Loans should be run through GUS.
Does US Bank send the file in for VA guarantee certificate and/or Rural Dev. loan note guarantee?
US Bank will do that if they underwrite the loan. If a lender is completing their own underwriting then they would have to make the submission.
Rental Housing Support and Long Term Operating Costs Programs
What is the Rental Housing Support Program?
The Illinois Rental Housing Support Program is the nation’s largest state rental assistance program. It helps extremely low-income residents in Illinois achieve long-term housing stability by helping them pay their rent. Achieving housing stability is crucial to any family trying to focus on the other necessities in life such as work, education, and health.
Who does the program target?
Families and individuals who rent and who earn less than 30 percent of the area median income, especially extremely low-income seniors and families, people with disabilities or other special needs, or those at risk of becoming homeless. Look up rent and income limits.
How will the Program help tenants?
Tenants will pay rent of approximately 30% of their income and the local administering agency will use grant funds to pay the balance of the rent. This will mean tenants will have enough left over from their pay checks to pay for the other necessities in life such as work, education, and health costs.
How does the program work?
IHDA will award $12 million in grants during the first year to 14 local administering agencies in both rural and metropolitan communities around the State. Local administering agencies can be local housing authorities, municipalities, or not-for-profit organizations with experience in affordable housing. The local administering agencies will then work with landlords who apply to take part in the Program to make available affordable units to eligible tenants. Tenants will pay rent of approximately 30% of their income and the local administering agency will use grant funds to pay the balance of the rent negotiated with the landlord.
How does this Program benefit landlords?
The rental subsidies are issued directly to the landlords by the local administering agency. Therefore landlords are guaranteed at least some revenue. The subsidies are issued quarterly and in advance allowing landlords to remain current on their bills. Also, many landlords want to participate in the Program because it ensures that their property does not sit vacant for long periods of time. The need for affordable housing ensures that there is always an appreciative tenant close by. In addition, the local administering agencies also assist landlords with finding and screening tenants to fill vacant units.
The Program also gives landlords an opportunity to help families and individuals who need affordable housing.
Can a family take the assistance with them when they move?
No, the RHS program is a unit-based initiative. When one family moves on due to job advancement or relocation, the assistance remains in the community to support another family.
Where does the funding come from?
The new program is paid for by a $10 fee collected from real estate document recordings since July 2005, when the Governor signed the Rental Housing Support Bill.
How is this Program different from Section 8?
The RHS Program is state-funded, while the Section 8 program is federally-funded. Landlords under the RHS Program also get assistance from the local administering agencies such as finding and screening tenants to fill vacant units. Also, under the Section 8 voucher program, the rental assistance moves with the tenant. The RHS Program is a unit-based which means that if the current tenant moves away, the subsidy stays to assist the home’s next tenant.
Can a tenant use a Section 8 voucher with the RHS Program?
No, that would be considered double-dipping.
What is the criteria for a landlord wanting to join the program?
The local administering agency is responsible for finding and screening the landlords so please contact your closest local administering agency. But in general, they will look for:• an experienced landlord
• connected to the community and with a good reputation
• quality housing units.
Local administering agencies will have their own criteria for example landlords who are located across a city/county as opposed to landlords concentrated only in one area.
How are the funded communities selected?
IHDA conducted a 9-month request for proposals process in March 2007, to invite local housing authorities, municipalities, or not-for-profit organizations with experience in affordable housing from across the state to apply to be a local administering agency under the Program. The funded agencies were selected from the group of applicants based on five criteria:- organizational experience
- organizational capacity
- ability to meet the needs of the community
- readiness to proceed, and
- ability to target households with special needs
How did IHDA decide the amount each community received?
The grant amounts were calculated after taking into consideration such things as the availability of funds, the amount requested by the applying agency and the number of households that would potentially be helped.
Is the program available statewide?
Yes, although the City of Chicago administers its own RHS program using resources from the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund. IHDA administers the program to the rest of the state.
What is the HOME program?
HOME is a federal formula grant awarded to state and local governments – designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.
What are the HOME funded programs at IHDA?
IHDA offers the following HOME funded programs: Homebuyer Assistance Program, Single Family Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program (SFOOR), Small Rental Properties Program (SRPP) and the Community Housing Development Organization Program (CHDO).
Are these programs funded in all counties across the State?
Some Illinois cities and counties (called HOME "Participating Jurisdictions," or PJs) get their federal HOME fund allocations directly from HUD each year. The following PJs exist throughout the state: Aurora, Chicago, Champaign County, Cook County, Decatur, Du Page County, East St. Louis, Evanston, Joliet, Kane County, Lake County, Madison County, McHenry County, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, St. Clair County, Urbana and Will County. Counties not included in this list are eligible for HOME dollars through IHDA.
What is the Single Family Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program (SFOOR)?
The SFOOR program provides assistance to homeowners to update their roof, siding, plumbing/heating systems, drafty windows, or outmoded electrical wiring to bring the home up-to-date to meet current living standards. View a list of SFOOR participating agencies.
What is the Small Rental Properties Program (SRPP)?
The SRPP was designed to help local governments meet a persistent affordable housing problem—the need to rehabilitate rental properties with 11 or fewer units to increase or preserve the stock of low-income rental units, particularly in small rural communities. Units of local governments are encouraged to structure their programs to meet specific, local rental rehabilitation needs. Small rental properties are those with one to 11 units, as defined by the HOME Program. View a list of SRPP participating agencies.
How do I apply for HOME funded programs?
If you are a potential partner interested in applying for HOME activities, please contact Jaclyn Mologousis at email@example.com or (312) 836-5372.
What is the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program (NFMC)?
NFMC is a program with funds appropriated by Congress designed to increase the availability of foreclosure counseling services across the country. NFMC makes funds available to housing counseling agencies nationwide for foreclosure counseling and budgeting assistance to homeowners at risk of losing their homes. Since the program's inception in 2008, IHDA has acted as a state intermediary, administering funds to housing counseling agencies throughout Illinois. To date more than one million homeowners nationwide have been assisted with this program, nearly 17,000 of those by IHDA sub-grantees alone. Collectively, IHDA has a statewide network of 40 counseling agencies that will help homeowners with budgeting, money management tips, and avoiding foreclosure.
How do I apply for NFMC funding?
If you are a potential partner interested in the NFMC Program, please contact Amber Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 836-7340.
Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund
What is the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund?
The Illinois Legislature approved the "Illinois Affordable Housing Act" due to the acute shortage of affordable housing within the State of Illinois. Through the Act, the Illinois Affordable Housing Program was created for the purpose of developing and coordinating public and private resources targeted to meet the affordable housing needs of low (at or below 80 percent AMI) and very low-income (at or below 50 percent AMI) households throughout Illinois. Through the Program, the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund was created and is administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
How do I apply for Trust Fund financing?
If you are a potential partner interested in applying for Trust Fund activities, please contact Edward Hamb at email@example.com or (312) 836-8573.
What is the Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program?
The Trust Fund Program offers low- and very low-income individuals help via down payment and closing cost assistance for first time homebuyers in the form of a grant or loan. Assistance is provided through local participating agencies. View a list of Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance participating agencies.
What is the Home Modification Program?
The Home Modification Program is a partnership program between IHDA, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department on Aging that provides funds to eligible applicant organizations for providing home modification repairs and improvements to housing owned or occupied by income-eligible elderly persons and persons with disabilities.