First Time Homebuyer Program – HomeFirst Downpayment Assistance Program

Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. (“NHSNYC”) is the sole administrator for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD’s) Homefirst p rogram. HPD created the HomeFirst Downpayment and Closing Cost Assistance Program to promote housing equality by assisting qualified low-and moderate-income homebuyers to purchase 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 cost, 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 down payment 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.