New City of Topeka Lien Release Program will improve thousands of lives

Kansas

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The new year is looking bright for Topeka residents already.

On Monday the city announced the new Lien Program will release thousands of people from paying back their loan.

The new policy is projected to help between 8,000 to 10,000 Topekans. The city reports 80 releases have already been complete, putting an estimated $300,000 into low income households. This policy is only for those who have a current lien with the city’s housing services division – or those who apply for future rehabilitation loans.

Up until this year, the program forgave 50% of the loan if the homeowner stayed in that residence for 7 years. With the new program, if you live in your home for 5 years, 100% of that loan will be forgiven.

Because the funding being forgiven would come from the US Housing and Urban Development Organization – or HUD – there is no loss or gain of money. This is life-changing for residents that qualify. The qualifications are based off of the HUD median family income limits – which change every year.

The program will forgive decades of debt in the local community.

“These mortgages go back, some of them go back 40 years that people have had these mortgages on their homes. They range from a couple hundred dollars up to $30,000,” City of Topeka Housing Division Program Intake Coordinator Shane Wilson said.

The program is aimed to help keep people in Topeka, and in a house they like. City of Topeka officials believe instead of paying off their mortgage, residents will be able to focus on making improvements to their property.

Shane told KSNT they’re estimating within 3 – 6 months, a good portion of releases will be done.

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