Access to homeownership for many households can be an impediment for many desiring to acquire their own home. A critical barrier for many prospective homebuyers is an inability to provide a sufficient down payment or pay closing costs to purchase a home. The Office of Housing makes homebuyer assistance loans available to help expand home ownership opportunities for low and moderate-income households.
The Downpayment Assistance Program offers homebuyers financial support. This program is available to households whose incomes are no greater than 80% of the area median income, adjusted for family size. The chart below establishes the income limits specific for these participants:
Maximum Household Income FY 2019
This program is supported by HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and it is designed to provide upfront financial support in the form of down payment and closing costs assistance, as well as work in conjunction with homebuyer counseling. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis and levels of assistance are subject to available funding. The City receives new federal funding for this program each year as of July 1. General requirements for all homebuyers include:
- Not having owned a home during the previous 3 tax years.
- Household income may not exceed 80% of the area median income.
- Applicants must contribute a minimum of 1% of their own funds toward the purchase of the property.
- The property must be the borrower(s) primary residence.
- The property must be located within the City of Springfield.
- The price must not exceed 95% area median purchase price for single-family properties (1 to 4 units)
- The maximum loan-to-value is subject to lender program requirements but may not exceed 103%.
- The property must satisfy the minimum HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS) requirements.
- Housing expense to debt ratio above 30% (does not apply to household earning less than 50% of the Area Median Income)
- Qualifying debt-to-income ratio may not exceed 45%.
- Applicants must successfully complete a city-approved homebuyer education class. Landlord training is required for properties with 2 or more units.
For more information about the Downpayment Assistance Program, contact Patricia Montana or Maritza Santiago at the Office of Housing, 1600 East Columbus Avenue, Springfield, MA or by phone at (413) 787-6500.