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NFTA Introduces Home Buyers Discount Linked to Public Transportation

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A new program is encouraging home ownership in Erie and Niagara Counties. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Wednesday introduced the Buffalo Niagara Smart Commute.

NFTA spokesman Doug Hartmayer says prospective home buyers now have a chance to qualify for a discount and low down payment when they apply for their mortgage, if they purchase a home with in a half mile of public transportation.

"If they qualify they go through Summitt Credit Union. They will be able to get a three percent mortgage," Hartmayer said. "It also allow them to have added income, because the theory is they will not be spending as much on their vehicles. The second largest cost of running our households is the cost of transportation."

The NFTA and Summitt Federal Credit Union are working with Fannie Mae and the Buffalo-Niagara Board of Realtors to present Smart Commute. There are no guarantees that the new home buyers will use public transportation, but leaders hope the discount would be an incentive take a Metro Bus or Metro Rail to work. The only requirement is those applying must have no more than two cars.