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 Housing Action Resource Trust

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 Housing Action Resource Trust or HART program is a non-profit housing organization offering help to homebuyers who qualify for FHA "first mortgage" loans. A first mortgage does not mean "first-time homebuyers only," but rather those who are getting the initial mortgage and not applying for a second mortgage or home equity loan.

Those who have pre-approval for an FHA loan or have an approved FHA loan qualify for HART. This program is aimed at those who have the right credit and employment to qualify for an FHA loan but lack the money for a down payment and/or closing costs. To use the Housing Action Resource Trust:

  • Get an FHA-approved loan or pre-approval on an FHA loan.
  • Find a house and make an offer.
  • Tell your realtor you want to buy the home using the Housing Action Resource Trust program
  • Contact your loan officer, who applies to the HART program on your behalf.

As with other down payment assistance programs, the seller must agree to participate in the HART program. Your loan officer will let you know when funds are scheduled to be transferred in your name for the down payment and/or closing costs.

If your seller has not signed up for the HART program but is willing to participate, ask your loan officer and/or realtor for details on how the seller may register with the House Action Resource Trust.

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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FHA Loan Articles and Mortgage News

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Construction Loan or Rehab Loan?

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Home Insurance Coverage for the House You Buy

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Home Loan Scam Tactics You Should Know About

February 25, 2024 - Major lenders are warning home loan applicants about scams. These warnings are issued frequently. What makes the current round of warnings different and more urgent is the level of sophistication these swindles have reached recently.

Don't Do These Things Before Closing Day

February 24, 2024 - Some people wrongly assume that they’re safe once approved for an FHA home loan and start the process toward closing day. They feel that once the loan has been approved, the transaction is bulletproof until closing day. But that’s not true.