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Purchasing a home in a real estate market as competitive as Florida’s is a dream for most people. The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes homeownership affordable for eligible community workforce. This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers so they can purchase a primary residence in the community in which they work and serve. If a borrower is employed fulltime by a business located in Florida, meets Program requirements, and can credit qualify for a mortgage, many more First Time Homebuyers should be able to qualify for this program. This program is now available to more Florida residence as of July 2023 since the occupational requirement will no longer apply, that we had at the beginning of this program’s rollout.

Down Payment Assistance

The program will reduce the upfront costs for homebuyers by providing zero-interest loans to help with down payment and closing costs.

Amount of Assistance

5% of the total loan amount not to exceed $35,000 with a minimum of $10,000.

Rate & Term

0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred.


Deferred except in the event of the sale, transfer of deed, satisfaction of the first mortgage, refinancing of the first mortgage or until such a time the mortgagor(s) ceases to occupy the property at which time, will become due and payable, in full. This loan is not forgiven.

Program Participation Restriction

All borrowers are restricted to a one-time participation in FL Housing’s Homebuyer Loan Program. This includes all first and second mortgage programs.

Note – CANNOT be used to cover the cost difference between the sales price and the appraised value and CANNOT be used to pay off borrower debt. CAN be used for down payment, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums or principal reduction.

Eligibility Requirements


Borrower(s) must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer and work 35 or more hours per week. Other than veterans, all borrowers must currently work 35 hours or more a week to qualify.
*Employer’s registration will be confirmed it reflects a principal address located in FL through the Division of Corporations at www.sunbiz.org.

Primary Residence

The property the borrower(s) is purchasing will be their primary residence. Borrower(s) must have the ability to permanently and LAWFULLY reside in the State of Florida. Borrower’s must intent to occupy property as their primary residence within 60 days of closing.

First Time Homebuyer

Borrower(s) must have had no present ownership interest in a principal residence at any time during the three-year period prior to the date on which the Mortgage Loan is executed unless qualifying under the Veterans’ Exemption or as an active-duty military borrower.
*Co-borrowers do not need to be a first time homebuyer.

Homebuyer Education

Borrower(s) must take an approved Homebuyer Education course. Co-signors do not have to attend homebuyer education. Veterans and Active-Duty Personnel do not have to attend HBE if using a GOVT first mortgage loan.

Income Limit

Borrower(s) must not exceed the maximum Income & Loan Limit requirements, household size, for the county in which the property is being purchased. Borrower(s) earning must be below 150% of area median income (AMI). Income caps range from $128,250 to $162,750. Check your AMI, here.

Loan Terms

Eligible full-time workforce, employed by a Florida-based employer can receive lower than market interest rates on an FHA, VA, RD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac first mortgage, reduced upfront fees, no origination points or discount points and down payment and closing cost assistance.

Loan Purpose

  • Purchase only.
  • Refinances are not eligible.
  • Construction to permanent loans are not permitted.
  • Streamline 203k loans are eligible

FICO Score

  • Minimum 640 for all loan types.
  • All Borrowers must have a minimum FICO of 640.
  • DU blended FICOs are not permitted.
  • Manufactured Housing and manual underwrites require a minimum 660.

Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratios

  • Maximum 50% DTI with AUS A/E.
  • Maximum 43% DTI with manual underwrites.
  • Maximum 45% DTI with manufactured housing.

Property Type

  • Attached / Detached 1-Unit Dwelling (includes townhomes).
  • 2-4 Unit Properties – Borrower(s) must occupy one of the units as their primary residence.
  • Condos – Single Unit approval permitted for FHA.
  • Manufactured Housing (1994 or newer, and double-wide only) – Permitted with FHA, USDA-RD, VA and FNMA only.

Note – Prepayments is permitted at any time without penalty.

Have More Questions?

Check out our blog post on Hometown Heroes Frequently Asked Questions.

We are Here to Help You

We are dedicated to finding great loan options for our customer. Our goal is to act as a trusted advisor, providing highly personalized service and helping you through every step of the loan process — from application to closing and beyond. It’s all designed to exceed expectations, provide satisfaction and earn trust. Want to know if The Hometown Heroes Program is a good fit for you, lets connect today!