First Time Home Buyer
(And Section 8 Home Buyers )
Resources for Down Payment
Closing Costs Assistance
CCBC does not offer grants
Remember! Most of the Following Resources Can Be Combined
with One Another.
Affordable Housing Program (AHP)
This is a program of the federal home loan bank (FHLB) system that provides funding to the member banks to be used for purchase, construction, rehab or refinancing of housing. In the single-family homeownership context, the money can be used for down payment assistance, interest rate buydown, and/or principal reduction, provided that the housing is for residents with earnings no greater than 80% of the Area Median Income.
There are 12 FHLBs nationally. Whichever FHLB covers your region may also set-aside funds in a homeownership pool for low-income households to purchase a home. All 12 FHLBs have such a program. The maximum down payment grant per household is $10,000. (Here is a list of the First Home Club Participating Home Loan Bank Members in NY district)
Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
HOME is one of the largest block grant programs of the federal government, whereby local municipalities and states receive funding to build, buy or rehab affordable housing. These funds are awarded annually, based on a formula. Many jurisdictions use the money to fund down payment assistance programs.
Individual Development Account (IDA)
Individual Development Accounts are, in essence, 401K plans for low-income families and individuals who probable do not have access to such a savings plan through their employment. They are generally administered by a non-profit, including credit unions. These non-profits solicit funding from a wide variety of sources that will be used to match the savings of low–income participants.
IDAs are matched savings programs, meaning that the individual or family commits to a certain monthly savings amount over a period of, usually, 1-2 years. If participants meet their savings goal, those savings are matched by the funds the non-profit has solicited. The match rate is whatever the non-profit decides (1:1, 6:1, etc.), based on its fundraising success and the actual cost in the area of the item to which the savings account is dedicated. IDAs are always dedicated savings for the purposes of homeownership, education, or micro-enterprise.
first Time home buyers interested in homeownership should consider enrolling in a local IDA program; however, not every city has an IDA geared towards homeownership. For state-by-state IDA information, visit this . FDA website
Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA)
The Individual Development and Empowerment Accounts program is provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank system. IDEA is a grant program, providing matching funds to eligible homebuyers. The money may be used for both down payment and closing costs. The low-income participant must also be enrolled in a Family Self-Sufficiency Program or an IDA program and have been saving for 10 months. The match is at a 3:1 rate.
There are 12 FHLBs nationally, serving the United States. Funds are awarded through an intermediary, not directly to low-income individuals, so the local Housing Authority should form a partnership with the FHLB administering to its area.
Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)
The FSS Program is a Housing Authority administered program that encourages Section 8 participants to improve their employment situation and save money. Naturally, when Section 8 participants’ income increases, their rent increases as well. If the participant is not enrolled in FSS, the participant never sees the money again. However, if the participant is enrolled in FSS, the Housing Authority will deposit 30 percent of the new increase into the participants’ escrow account. If the participant “graduates” successfully from FSS, he/she will receive whatever is in that account. Successful participation includes working with a case manager to get assistance with such issues as education, childcare, budget and credit counseling, etc. This is a 5-year savings program, and, obviously, the Section 8 participant should enroll before he/she sees an increase in income.
State Housing Finance Agencies
Most states have their own mortgage finance agencies that administer a variety of first-time homebuyer programs geared specifically to the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and families
State Downpayment Assistance Programs
Look to see if your state has a downpayment or First Time Home Buyer Assistance (grants, low or no down payment and reduced interest rates)
American Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI)
The American Dream Down Payment Initiative became law in December 2003; however, the regulations are still being finalized. The Act authorizes up to $200 million in assistance annually, through 2007. The ADDI program is administered through HUD’s already existing home programs.
To be eligible for ADDI assistance, individuals must be first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing single-family housing. This includes a condominium, a co-op or even a mobile home. A first-time homebuyer is an individual and his/her spouse who have not owned a home during the three-year period prior to the purchase of a home with ADDI assistance. Additionally, individuals who qualify for ADDI assistance must have incomes not exceeding 80 percent of their area’s median income.
ADDI will provide down payment, closing costs and rehabilitation assistance. The amount of assistance provided under the program may not exceed $10,000, or 6 percent of the purchase price of the home, whichever is greater. Grants will vary by state, and grant sizes will be determined locally.
The big difference between the “zero down payment” program and the ADDI initiative is that under the ADDI initiative the homebuyer will receive an actual check to go buy a home. Under the “zero down payment” program, the homebuyer is not expected to put any funds down for the down payment.
Locally (Southern New Jersey)
NJ HMFA “Smart Start” Program (Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance)
Accumulating the funds for down payment and closing costs is a common barrier to potential homeowners. The “Smart Start” Program is available to participants in the Agency’s first mortgage homebuyers program who are purchasing homes in Smart Growth areas and who earn less than 80% of HMFA’s homebuyer county income limits. The program helps these families by offering a second mortgage for down payment and/or closing costs up to 4% of the first mortgage.
HMFA will make Smart Start down payment and closing costs loans to qualified Home Buyer Program borrowers purchasing in Smart Growth areas as determined by the Agency’s Smart Growth indicator. Interest on the second mortgage will be at the same rate as the first mortgage and will be calculated as simple interest. All assistance secured under the Smart Start Program will be partially forgiven in four equal increments, starting on the fourth anniversary of the closing of the loan, and on each anniversary thereafter until the debt is satisfied. If the borrower lives in the property for seven (7) years the principal plus accrued interest will be fully forgiven.
HOME First Time Home Buyer Program
HOME First Time Home Buyer Program is a down payment and closing costs assistance program offered by the City of Atlantic City. It offers a grant of up to $10,000 to income-qualified families/individuals who wish to purchase a home in Atlantic City. Applicants, at the time of application, must submit
1) a written mortgage pre-qualification (A mortgage pre-qualification will give you an estimate of the amount of money you can borrow to purchase a home) and
2) a recent, 6 months or less, credit report.
First Home Club
The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s “First Home Club” is a special set-aside of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) that is designed to assist moderate-, low-, and very low-income first-time homebuyers in the purchase of a home. The assistance is provided in the form of matching funds (up to 3-to-1) based on the homebuyer’s systematic savings with a dedicated savings account. The Bank’s matching funds may be used toward the down payment and/or closing costs for the purchase of a home. Under the First Home Club matching funds grant program qualified applicants may receive up to $5000 to assist with their home purchase. This program is available to income-qualified families/individuals at Commerce Bank and Sun Bank.
Several local banks have established programs to assist first time homebuyers. Each has established guidelines, which may differ from bank to bank.