NewsPolk County


Frontline workers can now apply for Hometown Heroes housing program to become new homeowners

Frontline workers can now apply for Hometown Heroes housing program to become new homeowners
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 22:14:48-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The only time childcare worker Gwen Hardy gets some time to catch her breath is during nap time.

“I have 2-year-olds, so technically I have diaper kids and potty trained kids," Hardy said. "So, we’re on the go. One's got to go potty. I have to change diapers. One’s crying because someone took a toy."

Being able to make a difference in a child’s life is what has made Hardy’s job worthwhile these last 17 years.

“We have tons of kids that come in and their parents are on their phones. ‘Mommy I want to say goodbye, I want a hug,'" Hardy said. "'No it’s not the time.’ And we give them that."

Childcare employees are hometown heroes that care for and educate our children. Gov. Ron DeSantis is recognizing these workers by giving them assistance to purchase a home.

Starting June 1, 50 critical professions including nurses, police officers, teachers, childcare employees, military members and veterans can apply for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program.

They can receive up to 5% of their first mortgage loan amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage. Hardy wants to purchase a home and plans to apply.

“Really grateful because we don’t make much, so it will help a lot with saving a lot of money,” she said.

To qualify for the program, you must connect with a participating loan officer, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for your job and meet the income threshold for your county.

“All these different things that we’re getting because they’re saying we’re heroes now, is nice,” Hardy said.

For more information on this program click here.