MOORE, Okla. - Eric Emfinger remembers May 2013 like it was yesterday. He was in Louisiana when the EF-5 tornado hit his home on S.E. 6th and Whispering Oaks in Moore.
“Imagine the whole house taken off the foundation, maybe three or four feet, turned around a little then dropped down. Everything was on the ground, it was all wood and brick,” Emfinger said.
Emfinger later rebuilt and now the city wants others to have that chance.
The city of Moore is rolling out its new down payment assistance program which offers low-to moderate-income citizens financial assistance if they buy a home in a neighborhood impacted by the tornado.
“Eligible applicants can get up to $40,000 to help with their down payment or closing costs for their home,” said Moore City Manager, Brooks Mitchell.
There are about 100 empty lots, along with several existing homes, that remain in the 18 neighborhoods that were damaged by the tornado.
Homebuyers who make between 50% and 80% of the area's median income can apply. But if it's an existing home, it can't exceed $138,000 and new construction is limited to $180,000.
“Certainly, the impact of the storms for affordable housing has been impacted, but this is a great opportunity for families to become homeowners either for the first time or to come back and be part of this wonderful community again,” said Roland Chupik, Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director.
The community says the program sounds like a good idea.
“Well, that's a good start. If you didn't have insurance and you're wanting to rebuild, $40,000 would be a good start,” Emfinger said.
In order to qualify, you must submit an application and attend a homebuyer education workshop.
The first one is on Tuesday, August 1, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Station at Central Park.
Click here for a list of qualifications.