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Forgivable loan for down payment of closing costs

HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance | NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

1. How it Works

Home First gives qualified homebuyers up to $100,000 toward the down payment or closing costs of a home.

  • You can use the HomeFirst loan for a 1-4 family home, condominium, or cooperative. You must buy in one of the five boroughs of New York City.
  • The maximum HomeFirst loan amount is $100,000. The formula for determining the maximum HomeFirst loan amount is 20% of the purchase price of the home or $100,000, whichever is less.
  • To get a HomeFirst loan, you need to meet eligibility criteria for income limits and more. Maximum household income may not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). You will also have to get a mortgage from a Lender participating in the HomeFirst Program.
  • You can get help applying for a HomeFirst loan from a Counseling Agency in any of the five boroughs. Counselors can:
    • enroll you and certify your completion in a Homebuyer Education class.
    • certify income eligibility.
    • counsel you about program requirements.
    • refer you to participating lenders for pre-approval.
  • You will not have to make loan repayments if you follow certain criteria.
  • See all the conditions of the HomeFirst loan.

2. Determine your eligibility

You will need to meet these income requirements to qualify for a HomeFirst loan:

Family Size Maximum Household Income (80% AMI)
1 $79,200
2 $90,500
3 $101,800
4 $113,100
5 $122,150
6 $131,200
7 $140,250
8 $149,300

You will also need to meet all these criteria:

  1. Be a first-time homebuyer.
    • This means you cannot have owned a home three years before buying a home with a HomeFirst loan.
    • This requirement is waived for U. S. military veterans with a DD-214 that verifies honorable service.
  2. Provide documents to verify household income eligibility.
    • This includes tax returns, pay stubs, profit and loss statements, or other documents.
  3. Complete a homebuyer education course taught by an HPD-approved counseling agency.
  4. Pay some of the down payment or closing costs.
  5. Get a mortgage from a bank whose loans are regulated by a federal or state agency. To get a mortgage, you will need:
    • an employment record, and
    • enough financial resources and credit
  6. Buy a 1-4 family home, cooperative, or condominium.
    • This must be in the five boroughs of New York City
    • The purchase price must be within approved limits.
    • The home must pass a housing inspection that certifies that it is safe to live in.
  7. Live in the home as your primary residence. Depending on the loan amount, you will need to live in the home for at least:
    • 10 years for loans less than or equal to $40,000
    • 15 years for loans greater than $40,000.

3. What you need to include

You will need to show:

  • Proof of income (tax returns, pay stubs, profit and loss statements or other documents that verify your income).
  • Employment records
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources and credit

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

  1. Contact a Counseling Agency to start the process of getting a HomeFirst loan. Find a counselor near you. Scroll down to “Counseling Agencies.”
  2. The counselor will help check your eligibility for the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program.
  3. To apply for the HomeFirst loan, you will also need to complete a Homebuyer Education course taught by an HPD-approved counseling agency.

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More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Learn more about the HomeFirst Downpayment Assistance Program.

Read the terms about getting a HomeFirst loan.

Last Updated May 22, 2024

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