CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh announced Friday it will once again help low-income individuals and families make down payments on first homes.
Three West Virginia Banks -- CNB Bank Inc., WesBanco Bank and West Union Bank -- are joining the Federal Home Loan Bank in returning the First Front Door program to West Virginia after a four-year absence.
The banks will also help homebuyers pay closing costs on their mortgages.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., joined the banks in Friday's announcement that the program will be revived on June 17, when the banks will begin registering homebuyers in the program.
Neil Cotiaux, spokesman for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, said the "program was suspended in 2009 due to the Federal Home Loan Bank's relative earnings."
"The country was in a deep recession and our net income dropped," Cotiaux said. "We simply didn't have enough money to perpetuate this program along with our main community investment and housing programs.
"We put this one aside until we could build up sufficient funds for the First Front Door program again. It was simply a matter of money," Cotiaux said.
"I believe we will be able to accommodate at least 400 families in the three states where we offer these loans -- Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware."
The program is first come, first served, Cotiaux said. "It behooves anyone interested in lining up for this money to visit one of the banks and get their bid in early. The early bird gets the worm."
More West Virginia banks are expected to become part of the program during the next few weeks, according to a news release from the bank.
"Owning a home is part of the American Dream," Capito said. "It gives you a sense of pride, accomplishment and a place to create lasting memories with your family.
"I appreciate all of the hard work these institutions have done to help make responsible home ownership a possibility for many families in West Virginia," she said.