Freeport Housing Trust’s first affordable housing venture was the acquisition and resale of distressed condominiums. In 1991 FHT attended the auction of unsold units at Griffin Woods and was able to purchase 5 units at below market prices. To make these units affordable to low-income purchasers, FHT provided an additional subsidy through “soft second” mortgage loans that do not require any payments. The units were then resold to five households with incomes at or below 50% of the area median. To assure that the units remain affordable in the future, FHT holds deed restrictions that restrict the resale price and require resale to income qualified buyers.
In 2006 Freeport Housing Trust purchased an 8-unit rental property just over the Freeport town line in Durham and converted it to a condominium. Four of the units were sold to low-income households using the same “soft second” financing structure to make the units affordable as well as deed restrictions to keep them affordable long-term.
When units turn over, FHT works with the seller to find new low-income qualified buyers to purchase the condo. Since this happens rarely, FHT does not maintain a waiting list for condos. Opportunities to develop more affordable units are rare, so FHT does not have an ongoing supply of units to offer first-time homebuyers.