OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – On Wednesday, City of Oshkosh officials highlighted some of the assistance programs they offer to residents looking to either buy a new home or improve their current one.
Over 100 people attended the presentation at the Oshkosh Convention Center. One of those people was Mauricio Marin.
He told Local Five News that he’s originally from Costa Rica, but has lived in Oshkosh for about 25 years. He said he’s always rented and it’s his dream to own his own house.
“I’ve been working very hard in this country, I think it’ll be nice to have something at the end of my career and say, ‘that’s my result I worked very hard and I got a home,'” said Marin.
A full list of the city of Oshkosh’s housing loan and incentive programs can be found here. City officials also encouraged people to volunteer with Habit for Humanity which is an organization that builds homes for people.
“I’d like people to be aware of the resources we have so when they are thinking about doing projects, they factor in our potential resources into their calculations,” said Kelly Neiforth who is the director of community development for the city of Oshkosh.
Nieforth said that labor shortages and high material costs have limited the affordable housing inventory in Oshkosh. She said this is a problem that communities all over the country are dealing with as well.
She said that she hopes the programs the city highlighted in the presentation will help increase the city’s inventory of affordable housing.
Developers, contractors, and real estate agents also came out to see the city’s presentation on Wednesday night.
“We wanted to get as much information as we could for any future clients we may have that could save them some money,” said Kerry Zenner and Linda Lopez who are local real estate agents.
Housing experts offered several pieces of advice to people like Marin who are trying to buy their first homes.
“Talk with a trusted lending agent and encourage them to contact the city to see if there are any programs that can be used,” said Nieforth.
“There are lots of programs available to help with down payments or closing costs,” said Zenner and Lopez. “The city will give you a lot of money to help you afford to make repairs or afford a house.”