The mission of the Office of Neighborhood Services is to improve the quality of life for Columbia’s residents through fairly and swiftly enforcing city codes related to residential life and build a sense of community by offering valuable volunteer opportunities, providing resources for neighborhood leaders to solve issues independently and managing donations to support our community.
Following are the steps required to qualify an applicant for the City’s
Homeownership Assistance Program. Although staff will process requests as
quickly as possible, applicants should allow thirty (30) days for review and
processing from the time a COMPLETED application is received in
the Community Development Department. Please note that HOA funds are only to be
used for down payment and closing costs. Prepaid items, such as taxes and
insurance, cannot be used in calculating the amount of HOA assistance an
applicant is eligible to receive. Homebuyers must provide a minimum of $500
toward the purchase.
How to Apply
E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hand
deliver the following information or documents to the Community Development Department –
documents must be legible.
- City’s signed application form and data sheet which includes the proposed
closing date (a total of 8 pages need to be completed and submitted).
- Current good faith estimate
- Income verifications: includes, but is not limited to: last 6 months of
pay stubs for salary/wages, self-employment income, Social Security, disability,
child support, alimony, pension, annuities, interest/dividends.
- Underwriter's worksheet and summary sheet
- Truth in Lending Statement
- Applicant(s)' credit report(s)
- Commitment for title insurance with exceptions reviewed
- The last six months checking and savings account statements.
- The last twelve (12) months of statements for all income-producing assets
(monthly or quarterly statements), including money market accounts, CDs, mutual
funds, stocks and bonds.
Documentation of first-time homebuyer status may be verified by providing (1) copies of signed lease(s) or a letter from landlord(s), verifying rental history for the past three years (up to and including the date of the City assistance application) or (2) the last three years’ Federal tax returns, verifying applicant did not take mortgage interest credit. If tax returns are used, you must provide:
an IRS transcript for each
tax return or
have a third party tax preparer mail a copy of your return(s) directly to Community Development, PO Box 6015, Columbia MO 65205. A form and instructions to request transcript(s) are provided here;
there is no charge for transcripts. Individuals may obtain transcripts immediately from the IRS website at www.irs.gov
(b) written verification for the current calendar year in some form (copy of signed lease, etc.) Note: If the applicant has resided in a parent’s home during any part of the previous three years, a signed, notarized letter from their parent(s) will serve as documentation for that time period.
- Lender loan application, including information on front end and back ratios
(maximum ratios allowed by the City for the HOA program are 35/45
- Third party property inspection (not required if property was constructed
within the last three years).
- Sales contract
- Copy of signed lead notification statement indicating that lead hazard
information has been provided to the buyer (for houses built prior to January 1,
- Copy of signed Uniform
Relocation Act Compliance Notification.
- Copy of certificate from homebuyer’s education class. Buyers are required to
attend an approved homebuyer’s class and funds cannot be released until proof of
attendance has been provided. An on-line course or take home materials are not
allowed (see flyer for the Home Buyer's Pre-Purchase Seminar which is offered
After City staff determines the applicant meets program
requirements, a City inspector will schedule an inspection of the property. HOA
funds will not be approved until the property passes inspection. There are two
purposes for this inspection:
- Compliance with property maintenance code. The inspector will issue a
correction notice if the property does not meet property maintenance
requirements, and any deficiencies must be corrected prior to HOA funds being
approved. Seller and/or buyer are responsible for cost of repairs.
- To determine if lead paint hazard exists (only for homes built prior to
January 1, 1978). The inspector will determine if deteriorated paint exists, and
deteriorated areas, interior or exterior, if any, will be tested by a licensed
risk assessor. If areas test positive for lead, paint stabilization is required
by a contractor trained in lead safe work practices (contact City for list of
approved contractors). The City has a $500 grant to help offset the cost of
paint stabilization, but buyer and/or seller are responsible for all costs
exceeding that amount. Once stabilization is complete, a clearance of the
property by the licensed risk assessor is required, and this cost will be
covered by the City. HOA funds will not be approved until this clearance is
achieved. Please note that in these situations a buyer cannot occupy the home
until clearance is achieved.
HOA Funds Request
Once the applicant and property have been determined to
meet program requirements, City staff will request the check for the HOA
assistance and prepare the Borrowers Agreement, Promissory Note, and
Deed of Trust. The Borrowers Agreement, Promissory
Note, and Deed of Trust will be signed by the buyer(s) in the
Community Development Department Office prior to release of funds.
The lender or closing company will provide copies of the
signed warranty deed and HUD settlement statement to the Planning Department
within three days after closing.
Please call us at 874-7239 should you have questions or
need additional information.