Help for Minnesota’s First-Time Home Purchasers

First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Minnesota.

Owning a home is a dream for many, and in Minnesota, it’s not just a dream but a tangible reality thanks to various first-time homebuyer programs designed to empower low-income residents. Let’s explore the avenues available for Minnesotans looking to transition from renting to homeownership.

Minnesota Housing Start-Up Program: Your Gateway to Homeownership.

The Minnesota Housing Start-Up program is a statewide initiative tailored to assist first-time homebuyers in securing affordable interest rates, down payment assistance, and covering closing costs. Regardless of household size, individuals earning up to $103,900 annually may qualify for these benefits.

Depending on your chosen loan option, you could receive up to $12,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Notably, the deferred payment loan option offers flexibility, allowing eligible buyers to defer payment until they sell or refinance the property.

Qualification and Criteria.

To qualify, your household income must adhere to specific limits determined by your area, household size, and desired loan type. For instance, households of three or more in the 11-County Twin Cities Metro Area can earn up to $103,900 and still meet the program’s criteria.

Additionally, the property you intend to purchase must meet certain requirements. For example, the purchase price should not exceed $306,000 in the 11 County Metro area or $253,800 in other regions of the state.

Local Programs: Tailored Support Where You Need It.

In addition to the statewide Start Up program, local initiatives offer targeted assistance based on your location.

  • Minneapolis: City of Lakes Community Land Trust
  • This program extends support up to $60,000 towards your home purchase or $25,000 for rehabilitating an existing home.
  • St. Paul: Rondo Community Land Trust
  • Targeted toward families with children living in public housing or holding Section 8 vouchers, this program offers substantial assistance towards homeownership.
  • Lender-Specific Programs
  • Certain lenders, like the Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union, extend grants of up to $30,000 to aid first-time homebuyers.

Exploring Section 8 Vouchers for Homeownership.

Surprisingly, Section 8 vouchers can be utilized towards purchasing a house, opening up avenues for those seeking homeownership.

Educational Opportunities: Empowering Homebuyers.

Understanding the nuances of homeownership is crucial, and many programs require the completion of a first-time homebuyer’s course.

  • In-Person Workshops and Online Courses.
  • Options like Home Stretch workshops or Framework online courses offer comprehensive education on the home-buying process. While workshops are often free, online classes may incur a nominal fee of $75.


With a plethora of programs, grants, and educational resources at your disposal, the journey to homeownership in Minnesota is within reach for low-income residents. Take advantage of these opportunities and embark on the path to owning your first home.

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