Barron proposes state money to boost home market

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A bill sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffee would spend $6 million of state money to help reinvigorate the home buying market in Alabama.

Barron proposed taking $6 million from a state economic development account and putting it into a mortgage guarantee fund administered by the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.

Eligible home buyers would pay a 1 percent fee into the mortgage guarantee fund, but they wouldn't have to buy mortgage insurance, which costs much more.

The home buyers also wouldn't have to provide a down payment.

Barron said the program would be open to families making less than $98,230 annually, who have a minimum credit score of 620 and who complete a home-buying counseling course.

Barron's bill was co-sponsored Thursday by a majority of the Senate, including Senate Republican Leader Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)