The program offers up to a $100,000 forgivable loan to cover down portions of down payments or closing costs. On October 4, 2021, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced the first expansion of its “HomeFirst” Down Payment Assistance Program. The “HomeFirst” Program offers financial assistance in the form of a forgivable loan for first-time homebuyers in purchasing a home in New York City by helping cover portions of down payments or closing costs.
The program’s goal is to grow the number of homes affordable to low-income first-time homebuyers that all too often get priced out of many neighborhoods. The program will now offer forgivable loans up to $100,000 in support for qualifying homebuyers. Eligible applicants can make up to 80 percent Area Median Income, or $86,000 for a family of three. Participants must complete a homebuyer education course, contribute savings to the purchase price, and live in their home for up to 15 years to receive full loan forgiveness through the program. The program also offers first-time homebuyers guidance on navigating the process of buying a home.
The program launched in 2004 and has helped over 3,000 households to become homeowners citywide. The program is administered by the Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, and the program is funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here.
HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll stated, “This major expansion of down-payment support is a big win for equity and diversity as it tackles one of the biggest barriers to homeownership for low-income families and families of color. Positioning more families to own a home, build wealth for their kids, and take ownership of their communities is a key strategy for achieving our vision of a more equitable New York City.”
Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC, Inc. CEO Derrick Griggs stated, “More than 80 percent of NHSNYC clients represent BIPOC communities. The increase in available funds addresses the most significant obstacle faced by our clients when seeking to become homeowners. NHSNYC is excited to continue administering this program with HPD.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)