On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 which prohibits seller-funded down payment assistance. Historical program information is only provided for reference on this website.

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The Genesis Program

Loan Assistance Programs Canceled in 2008

Elimination of Nonprofit Down Payment Assistance: On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 which prohibits seller-funded DPA (Down Payment Assistance) for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to this bill, the seller could contribute up to 6% to the buyer to cover either a down payment or closing costs on an FHA loan. The changes took effect on Oct. 1, 2008. We provide this information for reference only. These grants are no longer available.

NEW: Down Payment Assistance Programs for 2024

The Genesis Program, also known as Grant America, is a non-profit down payment assistance program. It is operated by the Penobscot Indian Tribal Nation and technically qualifies as a government entity. Like other Native American tribal nations, the Penobscot tribal nation is HUD-approved to offer assistance, even to those living outside tribal jurisdiction. Grant America offers down payment assistance to low and middle income homebuyers:

  • Those with an FHA loan or are pre-approved for FHA mortgages qualify for the Grant America program.
  • Grant America offers up to $34,000 in down payment assistance.
  • This program is open to those with approved FHA loans buying new or resale homes.
  • Program participation is not required to be included in the contract, but the seller must participate in the Grant America program.

Applying for a Grant America program is simple:

  • Get pre-approved for an FHA loan or complete your FHA mortgage paperwork and get approved for a specific FHA loan amount.
  • Find a home you want to buy and agree with the seller to draw up a contract.
  • Tell your realtor you want to buy the home using Grant America.
  • Contact your loan officer
  • Your loan officer will complete a Grant America application on your behalf.
  • Grant America wires funds to the bank the day of closing the deal (or the day before if you close in the morning).

Contact your loan officer if you have questions about how the program application process works. Remember, the seller must participate in the program. Your loan officer and realtor may be able to assist if the seller has questions about how to sign up.

Down payment assistance programs generally require the seller to pay a fee to participate. This fee is considered a payment for services rendered and not a tax-deductible charitable contribution.

Since this program is no longer available, we recommend that you get pre-approved for a low down payment FHA home loan.

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