The Florida Housing Finance Corporation offers the First Time Homebuyer Program (FTHB). This home buyer assistance program offers 30-year fixed interest rate mortgage loans to first time home buyers through its network of participating lenders and lending institutions. In conjunction with the FTHB, Florida Housing also offers a variety of down payment assistance program options for home buyers who need additional financial assistance to buy a home in Florida.
The intent of these home buying programs is for first time home buyers, however if you are not a first time homebuyer, you may still be eligible for these programs if you are purchasing a home in a GO Zone county, or other federally designated targeted area. These programs use income and purchase price limits to determine eligibility.
Florida Statewide Home Buyer Homeownership Programs
Florida First Program – All buyers who qualify for a bond loan qualify for this 30 year, fixed rate product that may be used with one Florida Housing down payment and closing cost assistance second (HAMI or Florida Assist).
Florida Plus for Government Loans – All buyers who qualify for a bond loan qualify for this 30 year, fixed rate product that provides automatic assistance that is 3.00% of the Note amount. HAMI and Florida Assist MAY NOT BE USED WITH THIS PRODUCT.
Florida Advantage Program – For buyers purchasing in special geographic areas, rural self-help buyers or for households with at least one disabled member. The program is for buyers at or below 80% of AMI or below adjusted for household size. Buyers using this product qualify for Florida Assist Down payment assistance.
Community Heroes Program – This 30 year first mortgage loan program is designed to help both veterans and active duty military personnel as well as full time employees of the school system, police departments, firefighters, and certain healthcare workers with obtaining affordable housing (this pool of funds was formerly known as Florida Heroes Loans). Florida Housing may offer a pool for these loans at a lower interest rate for the purpose of assisting this special target group.
GO Zone Program – In response to the 2005 hurricanes that impacted the Gulf States, Congress passed the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act (GO Zone) and the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act (KETRA) of 2005. With regard to the use of the First Time Homebuyer Program for home purchases, the GO Zone Act waives the first time homebuyer requirement and increases the purchase price and income limits in 13 South Florida counties: Brevard, Broward, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie. These programs are in place until January 2010.
Homeownership Opportunity Program (HOP) – flyer attached-Is a non-competitive and on-going program, with Developers applying to become HOP Pool Members and reserving funds for eligible homebuyers on a first-come, first-served basis. Homebuyers, whose adjusted income does not exceed 80% AMI, purchasing a home through a HOP Pool Member, may be eligible to receive a 0% deferred second mortgage loan for the lesser of 25% of the purchase price of the home, $70,000 or the amount necessary to meet underwriting criteria.
Florida Down payment Assistance (DPA) Programs
In conjunction with the FTHB program, Florida Housing offers two down payment and closing cost assistance programs in the form of second mortgage loans, and up-front cash assistance to help eligible homebuyers cover their down payment and closing costs. These programs are summarized below:
Florida Assist DPA Program – Florida Assist Loans are zero percent interest, non-amortizing second mortgage loans, which means you do not make any monthly payments. You repay the loan if you sell the home, transfer ownership, satisfy or refinance the first mortgage, or cease to occupy the home.
The Florida Assist Loan provides up to $10,000 to assist with down payment and closing costs. This program targets applicants whose incomes are at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI)*.
Homeownership Assistance for Moderate Income(HAMI) DPA Program – The Homeownership Assistance for Moderate Income (HAMI) Loan program enables borrowers with moderate incomes to also qualify for down payment and closing cost assistance. HAMI Loans provide up to $5,000 to assist with down payment and closing costs. HAMI is an amortized loan that is offered at 5 percent (5%).
Three Percent Cash Option Program – This option, in the form of cash assistance, provides borrowers with 3 percent of the loan amount applied toward down payment and closing costs.
To get additional information about down payment assistance programs, or to find out more about mortgage programs please complete the information below: