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This federal housing program helps teachers, first responders buy affordable homes

Our Colorado: Some relief amid housing crisis
Posted at 12:07 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 21:56:40-04

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DENVER — A government program is helping give Colorado teachers and first responders an opportunity to buy a home as the state deals with soaring home prices. 

It’s known as the “Good Neighbor Next Door" program and it's operated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Homes in the program are sold at a discount of 50 percent off the list price and are located in areas undergoing revitalization.

The program isn't meant for investors or people looking to flip houses — anyone buying a home through Good Neighbor Next Door is required to use the home as their primary residence for at least three years.

Only buyers who qualify as K-12 school teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters or emergency medical technicians can take advantage of the discounted prices.

MORE: Tips and resources for first-time homebuyers  

Listings are limited. As of Tuesday morning, there was only one listing in Colorado, a two-bedroom home in Aurora.

If more than one buyer is interested, the home will be sold via lottery.

"It's a great way to give back to them. It's an opportunity for them to have home ownership at 50 percent value so they get rewarded for the service that they do," said Andrea Strouse, of Keller Williams Realty DTC.

Unfortunately, the homes that qualify are few and far between.

You have to work in the community where you would live, typically in neighborhood where revitalization is taking place.

"They have to be full time in the classroom, and a full-time police officer [or] firefighter,” said Strouse.

A former EMT herself, Tams Van Scoyk lives near one of the homes in the Good Neighbor program.

She says she knows it will help dedicated public servants and her own neighborhood.

"You have to be interested in putting other people's lives and needs ahead of you. That actually builds a stronger community," she said.

To learn more and see available homes, click here.