The Housing Action Resource Trust (HART) program is a non-profit housing organization offering down payment assistance for home buyers qualified for FHA "first mortgage" loans. If you have pre-approval for an FHA loan or an existing FHA loan you qualify for HART. This program requires good credit and a solid employment history. If you have both, but lack the money for a down payment and/or closing costs, HART is for you;
Make an offer on a home from a participating seller.
Tell your loan officer you want to buy the home using the Housing Action Resource Trust program.
Your loan officer applies to HART on your behalf.
Your loan officer will let you know when funds are scheduled to be transferred in your name for the down payment and/or closing costs.
Most down payment assistance programs, including HART, require the seller to participate and pay a fee. If your seller has not signed up but wants to participate, ask your loan officer or realtor to explain how the seller may register with the House Action Resource Trust.
Elimination of Non-profit Down Payment Assistance
On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed H.R. 3221 - Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
Section 2113 of the bill prohibits seller-funded DPA (Down Payment Assistance) for loans backed by
the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to this bill, the seller could contribute up to 6% to the buyer to
cover either a down payment or closing costs on an FHA loan. The changes became effective October 1, 2008.
Since this program is no longer available, we recommend that you get pre-approved for a low down payment FHA home loan.
Q: What is the debt-to-income ratio for FHA loans?
A: The FHA allows you to use 29% of your income towards housing costs and 41% towards housing expenses and other long-term debt. With a conventional loan, this qualifying ratio allows only 28% toward housing and 36% towards housing and other debt.