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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Responsible Home Ownership

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 Responsible Home Ownership program is run by a non-profit organization called Community Housing and Development Corp. The Responsible Home Ownership program offers down payment assistance to low-income individuals who have steady income and good credit. You may qualify for this program if you meet the following criteria:

  • You meet the low-income criteria for this assistance program.
  • You are pre-qualified for an FHA home loan, or are approved for an FHA loan.
  • You are purchasing a home in the United States (as opposed to "offshore").
  • You purchase a "participating home".

The participating home requirement means the seller must sign the "Participating Home Agreement". Check with your loan officer and/or realtor to learn how to get your seller involved in this program if the seller is not already participating. Funds from this program can be used for both closing costs and down payments.

This down payment assistance program is much different than other programs in one major way; it is not limited to owner-occupied single family residences. The terms of this program allow down payment assistance for multi-family homes and even commercial purchases.

Some of the purchases you can make using down payment assistance from the Responsible Home Ownership program may fall outside the bounds of what you are permitted to buy with an FHA loan. Check with your loan officer if you have specific questions about your participation in this program using an FHA-approved home loan.

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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