Freddie Mac and the Strategic Housing Finance Corp. of Travis County (Texas) have announced a new lease-to-own homeownership program offered by Freddie Mac.The Lease Purchase Plus Program of Travis County, through a $35 million revenue bond program, is aimed at those who cannot buy a home due to credit problems or lack cash for the downpayment and closing costs. To participate, qualified residents work with the SHFC -- a nonprofit organization that offers counseling, education, and downpayment and closing-cost assistance -- to select a home in Travis County. The SHFC buys the house and leases it to the purchaser for up to 39 months, then provides counseling to ensure that the buyer is ready to assume the loan at the end of the lease period. By making timely lease payments and resolving credit issues during the lease period, the family can exercise the purchase option when the lease expires.

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