The Hogan Administration today announced the first home purchase under a new home ownership initiative designed to ease the burden of student debt. Maryland SmartBuy, within the Department of Housing and Community Development, is the first program of its kind in the nation and will make move-in-ready homes available to buyers while eliminating student loan debt burden, which is often a significant barrier to home ownership for younger home buyers.
Maryland SmartBuy is the latest initiative in the Hogan administration’s ongoing commitment to help qualified buyers move out from under student debt and into home ownership. The event was attended by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.
“With the launch of SmartBuy, Maryland is among the first in the nation to actively address student debt as an obstacle to home ownership,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “We recognize that first-time home buyers play a pivotal role in the health of the housing market, which is critical to the strength of Maryland’s overall economy.”
This law, which was introduced by the Hogan Administration in the 2016 Legislative Session, authorizes the department to make direct payments on student loans in conjunction with other financial assistance or residential mortgage loans offered under the Maryland Mortgage Program, beginning with the Maryland SmartBuy initiative.
Under the initiative, eligible buyers with student debt can purchase move-in-ready properties made available through the department. The typical buyer can realize substantial savings on quality homes throughout Maryland. Specifically, Maryland SmartBuy will:
- Eliminate the buyer’s student loan debt;
- Provide the buyer with one convenient payment per month;
- Enable the buyer to access attractive financing and closing cost assistance;
- Ensure a safe, streamlined, and straightforward home buying and financing experience.
“With Maryland SmartBuy, our state is at the forefront of removing the obstacle of student debt to successful home ownership,” said Department Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We want to empower young people to establish roots in Maryland and help strengthen our state as they enjoy the financial security of home ownership.”
The initiative will create an innovative home buying model that could be adopted by the rest of the nation. Mortgage loans will be provided through the department’s Maryland Mortgage Program, which has been the state’s flagship home ownership assistance program for over 30 years. Traditionally, the program provides fixed-rate mortgages, primarily to first-time home buyers, along with other down payment and closing cost incentives.