Making Homeownership a Reality: Columbia’s Assistance Program

Making Homeownership a Reality: Columbia's Assistance Program

To help residents of Columbia, Missouri achieve their dreams of purchasing a home, the City offers individuals the Homeownership Assistance Program. This program helps to offset the hefty, upfront costs of down payment and closing costs.

Available Assistance

Under this program, eligible applicants can receive up to $10,000 or 10% of the purchase price (whichever is less). These funds come in the form of a forgivable, 10-year loan with zero interest and can only be used for down payment and closing costs or to reduce the principal amount of a loan. Prepaid costs such as taxes and insurance cannot be covered with program funds.

In cases where additional assistance is required to meet lender or program underwriting requirements, the City may increase assistance to a maximum of $10,000 or 10% of the purchase price, whichever is less. An additional grant of $500 is also available to offset costs for lead hazard reduction.

Eligibility Requirements

The Homeownership Assistance Program is open to applicants who are first-time homebuyers (those who have not owned a home in the past three years), displaced homemakers, or single parents. Applicants must fall at or under 80% of the area median income (limits shown below) and have an average combined credit score of at least 600. They are also required to attend a homebuyer education program, such as Pre-Purchase Homebuyers Seminar or MoneySmart. In some cases, completion of the MoneySmart program allows homebuyers with credit scores below 600 to qualify for assistance. All applicants are required to contribute a minimum of $500 in cash toward the home purchase, and they must have no more than $15,000 in readily available resources.

Property Guidelines

Any home purchased under this program must serve as the borrower’s primary residence and must be a single-family dwelling located within the City of Columbia, and not within a designated flood plain area or on land known to be the site of previous dumping of toxic or hazardous wastes. Mobile homes are not eligible. The home must fall within the following maximum purchase price limits:

  • 1 bedroom Existing Home: $159,000
  • 2 bedrooms Existing Home: $203,000
  • 3 bedrooms Existing Home: $246,000
  • 4 bedrooms Existing Home: $304,000
  • 1 bedroom New Construction Home: $224,000
  • 2 bedrooms New Construction Home: $286,000
  • 3 bedrooms New Construction Home: $347,000
  • 4 bedrooms New Construction Home: $430,000

Income Limits

The applicant household must be at or below 80% of the area median income.

  • 1-person household: $45,750
  • 2-person household: $52,300
  • 3-person household: $58,850
  • 4-person household: $65,350
  • 5-person household: $70,600
  • 6-person household: $75,850
  • 7-person household: $81,050
  • 8-person household: $86,300

(Note: All figures were accurate at the time of publication and may no longer be current – visit the program website for updated information.)

Columbia’s Homeownership Assistance Program is dedicated to making homeownership a reality for those in the community, providing a helping hand on the path to affordable housing.

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