Provided by Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest announced that it is participating in the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s “Welcome Home Heroes” mortgage financing program. The program focuses on providing financial assistance to all qualified first-time homebuyers who are reservists, military personnel and members of the Illinois National Guard. Veterans can also participate in this program, and veterans do not need to be first-time homebuyers in order to qualify.

Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank, said “Qualified first-time home buyers looking to purchase a home, but who need additional funds to make the down payment and pay closing costs, can use the ‘Welcome Home Heroes’ program to obtain a grant towards making a down payment.” Those military families needing down payment and closing cost assistance can apply for home financing at Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest, and need to meet the Bank’s credit underwriting standards.

The “Welcome Home Heroes” program applies to 1-2 unit residential properties located in Illinois that are purchased as a primary residence. Borrowers must take an IHDA SmartMove first mortgage through Community Bank in order to be eligible for the down payment assistance grant. Community Bank will apply for the grant on behalf of the borrower, as borrowers cannot apply for the grant directly. Borrowers must also receive home ownership education to help ensure that they understand the home buying process as well as the financial responsibilities of home ownership.

Bernard D. Headley II said, “Military families deserve our thanks and gratitude for their service. This program invests in their future, and will help many military families throughout the area achieve their dream of home ownership. We are excited to be able to participate in this program and look forward to expanding the home ownership opportunities for the military families in our area.” For questions and further details please call Bernard at (708) 660-7049, or email him at

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Evan O'Brien is the content manager of Soon after Evan was born in Chicago, his family moved to Oak Park for the same reason that attracts people to the "World's Largest Village" today: the...