First Time Homebuyer Program – Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

NHSNYC offers down payment and closing cost assistance loans and grants for first-time homebuyers. The two primary programs are the HPD HomeFirst Downpayment Assistance Grant and our own Downpayment and Closing Cost Loans. Your NHSNYC Counselor will determine the particular product for which you are eligible.


Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. (“NHSNYC”) is the sole fiscal administrator for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD’s) Homefirst Program. HPD created the HomeFirst Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance program to promote housing equality by assisting qualified low- and moderate-income homebuyers in purchasing their first home. Under this HPD program, NHSNYC provides forgivable loans, which do not exceed $25,000, to first-time homebuyers who are below 80% of Area Median Income (“AMI”). The formula for determining the loan amount is 50% of the downpayment plus 100% of reasonable closing costs, not to exceed the lesser of 6% of the purchase price of the home or $25,000. Borrowers in the HPD program can receive assistance in the purchase of a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative and will be subject to a ten-year owner-occupancy requirement. Prospective homebuyers must receive one-on-one sessions with homeownership counselors from HUD-approved housing agencies to meet program eligibility requirements.

To qualify for the HPD HomeFirst program, a prospective homebuyer must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer
  • Complete a homebuyer counseling and education program with NHS or another HPD-approved counseling agency
  • Have his/her own savings to contribute to the downpayment or closing costs
  • Meet program income eligibility requirements (click here for income requirements)
  • Purchase a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative for owner-occupancy in one of the five boroughs of New York City

Other criteria apply. HomeFirst applications are submitted by the homeownership counselors after the one-on-one counseling session is completed.

NHSNYC also offers its own enhanced HomeFirst program to first-time homebuyers who earn between 81% and 120% of AMI.

For details, see NHSNYC HomeFirst Program under the Special Programs Tab.


NHSNYC provides loans of up to $65,000 to assist First-Time Homebuyers with downpayment and closing costs. For details, see the Mortgages section under the Lending Tab.

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