ANDOVER — The town is offering some help for prospective first-time home buyers in Andover.

For the first time in more than 10 years, Andover has grants available to distribute among four or five first-time home buyers (up to $10,000 each) as down payment assistance for homes or condominiums, according to Senior Planner Lisa Schwarz.

The program was created by the Andover Housing Trust Fund with the assistance of Coastal Homebuyer Education, a nonprofit organization that will administer the program.

The housing trust recently received a $54,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Schwarz said.

The program is available to moderate-income households who have not owned a home in the past three years, with some exceptions, according to press release on the program.

The maximum income limit to be eligible for the program varies by household size, with a limit of $58,500 annual income for a household of three.

"We hope that this program will help a number of families to be able to purchase a home in Andover. We have offered the program in other towns and have found that it is very useful in helping people who may have grown up in town and are ready to buy, but need an additional boost to afford their first home," said Martha Solish, president of Coastal Homebuyer Education.

This program is similar to one that was used for five of the units at the Brookside at Andover development in 2005, according to the press release. For more information go to: coastalhbedu.org.

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