Mortgage Solutions

The Power of Community

Written by Carl Tyree

Communities thrive when there are long-term, committed residents with a healthy mix of skills, occupations and income levels. But as home affordability declines to the lowest level in 25 years, many communities are facing a future without the neighbors who help contribute to a community’s safety, education and quality of life.

Imagine how your town or city might change with no police officers, teachers or EMTs living there.

Unfortunately, many public employees are finding it difficult to buy homes in or near the communities where they work. With home prices at all-time highs, coming up with a sizeable down payment isn’t possible for people with moderate incomes, coping with student debt or trying to raise families. They may have good credit and the ability to make a monthly mortgage payment, but a lack of substantial savings means they either have to rent indefinitely or relocate to more affordable homes in distant suburbs.

While rental rates are soaring, towns and cities with too many renters face long-term instability. The insecurity of renting often leads to a lower level of commitment to the community and a greater turnover of personnel in essential occupations.

What’s the best way to encourage a steady inflow of responsible first-time homebuyers whose presence will strengthen neighborhoods and maintain civic values?

Arch MI has a solution.

Arch MI has launched a new MI program to help community workers buy homes. Available through top-rated Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company (AMGC), it’s a portfolio lending program with the flexibility to accept down payments for eligible borrowers that are even lower than the 3 percent required for a GSE loan.

AMGC Community Heroes allows down payments as low as 1 percent for qualified borrowers with gifts and grants eligible, for teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public safety workers.

Underwriting requirements includes a minimum credit score of 740 and a maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 41 percent. Borrowers who qualify for AMGC Community Heroes will also benefit when their MI premium is priced using Arch MI RateStar®, which guarantees our most competitive rates.

Residents put more trust in their public safety institutions and schools when they personally know police officers, teachers and other public employees as their neighbors.

Part of the impetus behind these programs is to reward qualified borrowers for choosing a career focused on public service, but AMGC Community Heroes is also about recognizing the critical role of first-time homebuyers in building stronger towns and cities and helping lenders to qualify more of them for home ownership.

In terms of public safety, having police, firefighters and EMTs living nearby makes neighborhoods less dangerous. Also, residents put more trust in their public safety institutions and schools when they personally know police officers, teachers and other public employees as their neighbors.

Local government also gets better feedback about what’s working – and not working – from public employees interacting with neighbors at youth soccer games, a community pool or at a backyard barbecue.

At Arch MI, we look forward to working with you to reward public employees with solutions that make it easier to buy homes close to the communities they serve. Learn more about AMGC Community Heroes by visiting

About the author

Carl Tyree

Executive Vice President, Chief Sales Officer
As Chief Sales Officer, Carl Tyree oversees Arch MI’s sales teams and manages customer relationship strategies. He was promoted to his current position in 2018. Mr. Tyree joined the company in 2013 as Vice President for National Accounts, where he managed the company’s relationships with the top 50 lenders, and became Senior Vice President for National Accounts in 2016.