Harris County’s DPA Initiative: Funding Your Home Purchase

Harris County's DPA Initiative: Funding Your Home Purchase

To support aspiring homeowners in Harris County, the Community Services Department has introduced its Down Payment Assistance Program, aimed at providing financial aid to eligible applicants looking to purchase their first homes.

Accessible Support

The Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) offered by the Community Services Department can provide qualified applicants with substantial assistance, amounting to up to $23,800. This financial aid encompasses the down payment, customary closing costs, the owner’s title policy, a three-year home warranty with a maximum annual coverage of $500 for pre-existing homes, and a one-year flood insurance policy with a maximum coverage of $500.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the DAP, applicants must meet specific requirements, which include:

  1. First-Time Homebuyer Status: Applicants must qualify as first-time homebuyers, meaning they have not owned a home for at least three years before applying for assistance.
  2. Credit Score: Buyers should possess at least one credit score of 580 or higher.
  3. Mortgage Lender Approval: Buyers must obtain credit approval through one of the participating mortgage lenders.
  4. Debt Ratios: The front-end debt ratio (debt compared to income) should not exceed 39%, while the back-end debt-to-income ratio (DTI) should not surpass 42%.
  5. Homeownership Education: Prior to applying for DAP assistance, buyers are required to successfully complete an eight-hour homeownership education course. This course must be delivered by a HUD-approved homebuyer education course provider and administered by a Certified Counselor. Additionally, buyers must submit a final signed household budget from their HUD-approved provider.
  6. Buyer’s Contribution: Buyers are expected to contribute a minimum of $1,000 towards the purchase of their home.
  7. Liquid Assets: Buyers cannot possess more than $15,000 in liquid assets, such as stocks, cash, or bonds.

Income Limits

The DAP program operates within specific income limits based on the area median income (AMI). The income limits for the program are set at 80% of the AMI and are as follows:

  • 1-person household: $44,350
  • 2-person household: $50,700
  • 3-person household: $57,050
  • 4-person household: $63,350
  • 5-person household: $68,450
  • 6-person household: $73,500
  • 7-person household: $78,600
  • 8-person household: $83,650

This program is designed to make homeownership more attainable for eligible residents of Harris County, providing valuable financial assistance to help them achieve their dream of owning a home.

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