Did You Know?

Down payment assistance programs have expanded and today are offered by state, city, and municipal governments throughout the country.

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Responsible Home Ownership

Since President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 on July 30, 2008, many federally established down payment assistance programs have been cancelled. The Act prohibits seller-funded Down Payment Assistance for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The details of this program are presented for reference only.

About the Program

The Responsible Home Ownership program was operated the non-profit Community Housing and Development Corp. The program offered down payment assistance specifically to low-income individuals who had steady income and good credit. Home buyers qualified for this program if:
  • They met low-income criteria.
  • They were pre-qualified for an FHA home loan, or were approved for an FHA loan.
  • They wanted to buy a home in the United States.
  • The seller participated in the program.

To participate, a seller was required to sign the "Participating Home Agreement." Loan officers and/or realtors helped buyers learn how to get sellers into the program. Funds from this program could be used for both closing costs and down payments.

The Responsible Home Ownership down payment assistance program was different than other programs because it was not limited to owner-occupied single family residences. This program allowed down payment assistance for multi-family homes or commercial purchases. Some of the terms of this down payment assistance program fell outside the bounds of what you are permitted to buy with an FHA loan.

Down payment assistance programs required the seller to pay a fee to participate. The fee was considered a payment for services rendered and not a tax-deductible charitable contribution.


Down payment assistance and first-time homebuyer programs have expanded and are offered today by state, city, and municipal governments throughout the country. A curated list of down payment assistance programs is available courtesy of FHA.com.

Ask your loan officer for recommendations on down payment assistance programs, or how to make an offer contingent on the use these program.


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FHA Loan Articles

How Much Do I Need to Put Down on a House

A down payment is an upfront installment or part of a larger amount paid on a purchase. The remainder is paid off in separate installments, usually with interest, as part of a loan. The down payment represents your initial ownership stake in the home you continue to make payments on.

First-Time Homebuyers and the FHA Loan Requirements

For many first-time home buyers, the FHA loan is a popular option. With its lenient credit and income requirements, it appeals to young borrowers who don’t have an extensive credit history, or enough money saved up for a down payment.

Things to Know About Making an FHA Loan Down Payment

Many first-time homebuyers need some help understanding and navigating the ins and outs of the mortgage process, and down payments are an essential part of that. A down payment is an upfront installment made on a large purchase while the remainder is paid off with a loan.

Benefits of an FHA Loan

Making the decision to buy a house is a big one, followed by the choice of which house to buy. The next biggest decision you make is going to be the type of home loan you need to go through with the purchase. One option for financing your home is an FHA loan.

Tips for Buying Your First Home

Most first-time homebuyers decide on purchasing a home at least a year in advance, sometimes even a couple of years ahead of time. The earlier you make a decision to buy a home, the more time you have to save up for your down payment.

Getting Approved for an FHA Loan

While an FHA home loan is a good option for first-time homebuyers who don’t have enough money saved for a large down payment, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the FHA guidelines, and what it takes to get approved as a borrower. 


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