SEE UPDATE BELOW: DO YOU WANT YOUR TAX DOLLARS GOING TO THE CITY’S NEW CREDIT SCORE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM?

UPDATE: THE CITY KILLS THIS PLAN AT COUNCIL TUESDAY!

THE MONEY CAN’T BE USED FOR CAR LOANS OR CREDIT CARD DEBT ACCORDING TO THE MAYOR’S OFFICE!

The City Council will consider a proposal to use taxpayer money for paying down debt of first-time homebuyers trying to qualify for a mortgage through Houston’s assistance program.
The “Credit Score Enhancement Program” would give up to $3,000 for individuals to use on such debt as student loans or hospital bills according to the Mayor’s office. Frank Michell with the city says the funds can not be used to pay down debt on car loans or credit card balances. City officials believe the debt reduction could provide the slight boost in credit scores some applicants need in a tighter credit market.
The $444,000 for the program would come from leftover money in the city’s $1.5 million appropriation for emergency home and roof repairs from Hurricane Ike, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck said the program was well-intentioned but went too far.
“If this credit crisis has taught us anything, we need to focus on paying off our debts and saving more,” she said. “Using government money to help someone pay off debts is not the same as asking them to pay off their debts themselves.”
Houston has three grant programs to help qualified homebuyers with down payments and closing costs. The most generous provides up to $37,500 to buy a home that costs $135,000 or less in disadvantaged neighborhoods the city is trying to revitalize.