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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Nehemiah 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 Nehemiah Program has helped over a quarter of a million Americans purchase homes. Unlike some down payment assistance programs, Nehemiah offers down payment help to anyone who qualifies for an approved FHA loan. There are no limits on income or assets, but buyers must have an FHA loan or be pre-approved for an FHA mortgage. The Nehemiah program offers:

  • Up to 6% of the final contract sales price for down payment and/or closing costs.
  • Available for first-time and repeat homebuyers.
  • Approved for new construction and resale homes.
  • No geographical restrictions.

As with most down payment assistance programs, these funds are not available for "second mortgage" or home equity loans; Nehemiah is intended to help people buy a new home. The process for applying for Nehemiah is similar to most other down payment assistance programs:

  • Find a house and make the seller an offer.
  • When the offer is approved, contact your loan officer.
  • Tell your realtor you want to buy the home using the Nehemiah program.
  • Your loan officer applies to the Nehemiah program on your behalf.
  • Nehemiah down payment assistance will be sent before you close on the home.

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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