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Chicopee’s Homebuyer Assistance Program is still available to interested, eligible buyers. Despite rumors to the contrary, the federally funded program has not closed but will temporarily be operated by the City’s Community Development Department. Interested buyers can access the application from the City’s website or by contacting the Community Development Department at 413-594-1490. The program had been operated by a private agency, the Chicopee Neighborhood Development Corporation, which is experiencing fiscal challenges.
On a temporary basis, Chicopee buyers can access Homebuyer counseling sessions through HAPHousing, Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services and Springfield Partners for Community Action. HAP provides an online course that is available by calling 413-233-1616.
Mayor Kos stated “Upon notification that the Chicopee Neighborhood Development Corporation was not able to operate the program, my responsibility is to insure that interested Chicopee first-time buyers are able to be served”. Chicopee Neighborhood Development Corporation Board member Jim Kelly states “The board is committed to the program and is working to develop a sustainable agency budget with the help of the City.”
Mayor Kos continued “In 1997 I was a founding member of the CNDC and am committed to exploring every option toward sustaining it”. Although funding to the CNDC was reduced in 2012, the City has continued to fund homebuyer education and the buyer assistance program. In addition to contracting for those popular programs for fiscal year 2015-2016, the City has extended funding to the agency to provide services within the Attorney General’s Distressed Property Initiative grant.