New program helps potential homeowners

Mandan, ND – A program designed to help North Dakotans purchase, build or remodel their homes when they have trouble with conventional financing has made its first loans.

It's called the "Lewis and Clark DREAM Fund." "DREAM" stands for Downpament and closing costs; Rehabilitation; Emergency repairs; and Mortgage assistance.

Director Paul Rechlin (wreck-lin) says the program is NOT meant to replace conventional loans, but can be used for so-called "gap" financing that banks can't fill. "For many North Dakotans, home ownership is nothing more than a dream. For many who are homeowners, maintaining and keeping their homes can be a nightmare. This fund will help the dreams come true."

The program has raised a half-million dollars so far to help provide the loans. Senator Byron Dorgan says he's asking Congress for another 400-thousand dollars to help.