Down Payment Assistance
More About Buying a Home
Philly First Home Grant
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the city is not processing down payment assistance checks until further notice.
Normally, the Philadelphia Division of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) will provide up to 6% of sales price or $10,000 (whichever is less) for qualified participants to use toward a down payment or closing costs.
A 15-year forgivable lien is placed against your property for the full amount of the grant. If the house is sold within 15 years after purchase, you must repay the grant. If you live in the house for 15 years, the lien is forgiven.
First-time homebuyers assistance is phenomenal!!! They were very kind and professional!”
To qualify, you must:
- Be a first-time homebuyer (see definition below).
- Purchase a property within the City of Philadelphia and occupy the property as your principal residence. The property must be a single-family home or duplex (no condominiums).
- Have a family annual income not exceeding 120% of the area median income. See a chart with maximum annual household income here.
- Successfully complete the one-on-one homebuyer education course offered by NKCDC or another a DHCD-funded housing counseling agency—before signing an agreement of sale.
- Qualify for an appropriate mortgage based on reasonable income and credit worthiness standards (38/45 ratios), and a reasonable non-predatory interest rate, and be approved based on client’s verified income. Balloon notes; interest-only, adjustable rate mortgages; and no-doc or stated income loans are not acceptable.
Once approved, you must settle within 90 days.
What does “first-time homebuyer” mean?
A first-time homebuyer meets any of the following criteria:
- An individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase of the property. This includes a spouse: if either meets this test, they are considered first-time homebuyers.
- A single parent who has only owned with a former spouse while married.
- An individual who is a displaced homemaker and has only owned with a spouse.
- An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.
- An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.
Request a Housing Appointment
Philly First Home applicants are required to complete one-on-one homebuyer education at a City-funded housing counseling agency like NKCDC. This must happen before you sign an agreement of sale. Contact NKCDC and let us help you get your Philly First Home grant. We’re available by phone and online.