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An in-depth look at the Monroe State of the City



MONROE, La. – The Home in Monroe Program helps first-time homeowners with making a down payment. The program provides financial coaching, housing counseling, and down payment assistance for first-time homeowners. Officials say the goal is to make the American dream available to more people.

In a time when most people are in need of a helping hand, Ellen Hill with the City of Monroe says help is here for people looking to buy their first home. The city has three programs designed to help.

“The first one would be $5,000, up to $5,000, for down payment assistance, and that’s for someone buying a home in Monroe (first-time homebuyer buying anywhere in Monroe). We have a second program, that is our Buy-Down program, and if a homeowner works with a developer that we have to build a home in one of our targeted neighborhoods, we might be able to do up to $20,000,” said Ellen Hill, the Monroe Director of Planning and Development

The third program is called the Individual Development Account Program. Hill says for every dollar you save for a down payment, the program will match it up to 1,000 dollars.

“So we’re doing, if you save 500, we will match you with 1000. So, you know it’s a two for one, up to $1,000 that’s what we will do. So that gives everyone who wants to be a homeowner in Monroe a chance to get some assistance from us,” said Hill.

Along with financial assistance, the Home in Monroe Program will provide financial coaching. This will help raise credit scores by reporting monthly rental history payments on your credit score.

“We do offer a rent reporting service through a company called “Rock The Score” and basically, renters get to sign up. Our grant pays for the sign-up fee, and they pay a minimal $5 a month to get their rent reported. It’s usually the largest bill someone has that doesn’t get reported,” said Hill.