State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program
Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in Florida
The SHIP program provides income-eligible applicants up to 10 percent of the purchase price (a maximum award of $15,000), in the form of a zero-interest loan. The total loan amount is due for repayment only if the home is sold, becomes rental housing, or is no longer serves as the borrower’s primary residence.
In order to be considered eligible for the SHIP Program, all borrowers must meet certain requirements. The program is only available to first-time homebuyers (those who have not owned a home within the last three years) who have been living or working in Charlotte County for six months prior to applying. Applicants must have a first mortgage debt-to-income ratio no higher than 30 percent, and a total debt-to-income ratio (excluding basic utilities) not exceeding 40 percent. Borrowers are also responsible for contributing a minimum of $500 from their own funds toward the down payment, and for completing a homebuyer’s education program.
Any property being purchased with program funds must be owner-occupied and can be located anywhere in Charlotte County, including Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and Englewood. Funds may be used to purchase a new or existing single-family home or qualified condominium, under the program’s maximum purchase price, $253,809. Mobile homes are ineligible.
Applicants’ annual household income must fall within the program’s limits (shown below). Household income is defined as all income received by household members (18 years or older) who will be living in the home, even if they are not on the mortgage.
1 person household : $30,550
2 person household : $34,900
3 person household: $39,250
4 person household : $43,600
5 person household : $47,100
6 person household : $50,600
(Note: These figures were accurate at the time of publication and may no longer be current - visit the program website for updated information.)
Down payment assistance programs and/or grants were researched by the team at FHA.com. Please note that all programs listed on this website may involve a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some manner until resale of the mortgaged property.
FHA.com's compilation is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to the consumer to contact these entities and find out the specifics of each program.
Down Payment Grants in Florida
Broward County recognizes that many individuals who can afford monthly mortgage payments don't have the required down payment for a home. The Broward County’s Homebuyer Purchase Assistance Program helps potential homebuyers overcome this hurdle by offering down payment assistance.
The program provides down payment and closing costs assistance to income-eligible applicants in the form of a zero-interest, deferred second mortgage, with the maximum loan amount being $7,500. This can be used in conjunction with the program’s 4 percent first mortgage exclusively.
The Housing Finance Authority of Hillsborough County offers the Hillsborough First with Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Down Payment Assistance Program. The program is meant to help first-time homebuyers who do not have enough money saved for hefty down payments and closing costs.
The City of Jacksonville offers the Head Start To HOME Ownership Program, also known as H2H, which provides down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible applicants interested in purchasing a home.
The Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade recognizes the high upfront costs of purchasing a home. To help offset this cost, the HFA offers a first mortgage as well down payment assistance to potential homebuyers.
The Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County’s First-time Homebuyer Program is designed to help potential borrowers purchase the home of their dreams. Along with a first mortgage, the program helps borrowers with down payment assistance via the Home Key Plus 2nd Mortgage.
With their Home Ownership Program, the Housing Finance Authority of Manatee County offers homebuyers down payment assistance. In addition to a first mortgage, the program gives borrowers the chance to cover the down payment and/or closing costs as well.
The Housing Finance Authority of Hillsborough County offers homebuyers the Home Sweet Home Hillsborough Program that helps applicants overcome the hurdle of expensive down payments.
Florida's Lee County Housing Finance Authority provides first-time homebuyers down payment and closing cost assistance with the FirstPlus program. This program works on a first-come, first-served basis and is continuously funded.
Florida residents in Orange County can take advantage the Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides funding to income-eligible first-time homebuyers to help them purchase a new or existing home. These funds are to be put toward paying qualified closing costs and the down payment associated with a mortgage transaction.
The City of Palm Bay in Florida established the HOME Down Payment Assistance Program, which is designed to help income-eligible applicants with down payment and closing cost assistance to purchase their first home, and rehabilitation, if needed.
The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program in Charlotte County provides income-eligible applicants up to 10 percent of the purchase price (a maximum award of $15,000), in the form of a zero-interest loan.
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