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Down Payment Assistance programs were established to help FHA borrowers become homeowners with grant and loan forgiveness opportunities.

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Down Payment Assistance Grants

Down Payment Assistance Grants

These down payment assistance programs can be used in conjunction with FHA-insured home loans. Terms vary from program to program, but generraly offer eligible applicants a percentage of the purchase price to cover the down-payment. The assistance funds may come in the form of a zero-interest second mortgage with options for forgiveness if the borrower makes the required number of consecutive, on-time payments on the first mortgage.

Down Payment Assistance and First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Down Payment Assistance and First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Hundreds of programs are available across the country. We're presenting some of the more popular ones. A more complete list of down payment assistance programs is available courtesy of FHA.com.

  • 5 Star Texas Advantage Program
    The Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH) offers Texas residents the 5 Star Texas Advantage Program, which helps eligible applicants with down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a grant.
  • MyHome Assistance Program
    The MyHome Assistance Program in California offers applicants a deferred-payment junior loan up to 3% of the purchase price/appraised value of the mortgaged property in order to help make the down payment or pay the closing costs.
  • HOMEstead Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance Loan
    The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) offers eligible homebuyers assistance in meeting the upfront costs of homeownership through different programs, one of which is the HOMEstead Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance Loan.
  • Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance Program
    The Ohio Housing and Finance Agency (OHFA) offers the Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance Program to qualifying homeowners. They can choose between assistance of 2.5 or 5 percent of the loan amount, to be applied toward the down payment, closing costs, or any other pre-closing expenses.
  • Down Payment Plus Programs for Illinois
    With their Downpayment Plus Programs, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago offers its members easy-to-access down payment and closing cost assistance programs for low- and moderate-income homebuyers.
  • First Time Home Buyer's Program
    This New York program provides eligible applicants with a loan of up to 10 percent of the purchase price of the property in order to meet the down payment requirements. The loan has an interest rate of 4 percent with a 5-year term.
  • NC Home Advantage Mortgage Program
    North Carolina's Housing Finance Agency realizes that one of the major obstacles on the path to homeownership is the down payment. Though many people can afford to make monthly mortgage payments, they don’t have enough money saved to pay the upfront costs.
  • Michigan First Home Down Payment Assistance
    The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) offers Down Payment Assistance (DPA) to help homebuyers purchase a home. It is a second mortgage that must be used in conjunction with MSHDA's MI First Home or MSHDA's MI Next Home first mortgage.
  • Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance
    This down payment assistance program provides applicants with up to $15,000 in assistance funds in the form of a forgivable, zero-interest second mortgage. 20 percent of the loan amount is forgiven each year for five years, after which the mortgage is forgiven entirely.
  • Veterans Downpayment Assistance Loan Program
    This Washington State Housing Finance Commission program offers up to a $10,000 second mortgage with a 3 percent interest rate and a ten-year loan term.

Expired Programs

Expired Down Payment Grant Programs

Since President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 on July 30, 2008, many federally established down payment assistance programs have been cancelled. The Act prohibits seller-funded Down Payment Assistance for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Instead, down payment assistance and first-time homebuyer programs have expanded and are now being offered by state, city, and municipal governments throughout the country. The following information is a reference to national programs that provided FHA down payment grants, but are no longer active.

  • Genesis Program
    Genesis Program, otherwise known as Grant America, offered down payment assistance to low- and moderate-income home buyers, including those with an FHA loan or pre-approval for the loan. Grant America offered up to $34,000 in down payment assistance for new or resale homes.
  • Nehemiah Program
    The Nehemiah program was a private California non-profit organization that offered down payment assistance programs to qualified homebuyers. This program offered free gift funds to be used towards the down payment and closing costs for eligible FHA loan programs.
  • AmeriDream Program
    The AmeriDream program was designed to provide down payment assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers who demonstrated the need for financial assistance. To use the program, buyers were required purchase a home enrolled in the AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program and qualify for a first mortgage.
  • Family Home Providers
    With the Family Home Providers program, those with an FHA loan or those who had pre-qualified for one could qualify for 3% of the final contract price of the home. Under this program, the home was appraised for the sale contract price or more, and the seller paid the closing costs.
  • Partners in Charity
    The Partners in Charity (PIC) is a non-profit corporation that promoted homeownership by offering down payment assistance programs to qualified low- and moderate-income homebuyers. The program offered free gift funds to be used towards the down payment and closing costs for eligible FHA loan programs.
  • American Family Funds
    American Family Funds ran a non-profit charity called The Dove Foundation. This charity offered down payment and/or closing cost assistance to home buyers with FHA home loans, as well as those pre-approved for FHA loans.
  • HART Program
    The Housing Action Resource Trust (HART) program was a California 501c(3) non-profit housing and community development corporation that promoted homeownership by offering down payment assistance programs to qualified low- and moderate-income homebuyers.
  • Newsong Program
    The Newsong provided down payment assistance for purchases of both residential and commercial properties, and those who qualified for an FHA loan were eligible to apply. The program featured a one-time gift to cover all closing costs.
  • Quickdown Program
    The Quickdown program worked with non-profit agencies to offer down payment help for home buyers with approved or pre-approved FHA home loans. Quickdown was designed for first-time home buyers who couldn't afford to buy a home without financial assistance.
  • Responsible Home Ownership
    The Responsible Home Ownership program was operated by the non-profit Community Housing and Development Corp. This program offered down payment assistance to low-income individuals who had steady income and good credit.
  • Futures Home Assistance
    Futures Home Assistance was a non-profit charity group which offered a down payment gift of up to 6% of the closing costs for a home purchased with an FHA loan. Additional funds beyond the usual grant amount were sometimes available.
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