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City gives federal money to unqualified homebuyers

John Estus of The Daily O'Collegian at Oklahoma State University found that "Nearly $110,000 in federal funds intended to help poor Stillwater residents buy homes of their own was given to middle-class buyers who did not qualify" in an eight-week investigation that has prompted a state audit of the program. Estus also revealed the program gave nearly $39,000 in city funds not regulated by federal guidelines to homebuyers who would not have qualified as low-income if the federal rules had been applied. Among those buyers was the city official administering the Homebuyer Assistance program at the time. Stillwater Community Development officials frequently balked at Estus' requests for loan recipient applications and other records until an assistant city attorney told the officials to release the records.

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