Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Thursday that this year’s Down Payment Assistance Program is now open for applications. The program allows first-time homebuyers $30,000 to purchase a single family home with the agreement that the buyer will live there for at least 10 years.
Mr. Bellone explained during a press conference that in prior years, $14,000 was given to each homeowner to live in a home for five years. However, he said, “This year we are upping it to $30,000 per homeowner” because it is “critical to allow more people to take part in this incredible opportunity to become a homeowner.”
The Down Payment Assistance Program will be accepting applications through March 31, 2024. Before submitting an application, all prospective applicants are required to attend housing counseling and receive a mortgage counseling certificate. For U.S. military veterans with a DD-214 (certificate of release or discharge from active duty), the first-time buyer qualification will be waived. Buyers are accountable for all closing costs and the balance of the down payment.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must be purchasing their first home; have low to moderate income not beyond 80 percent of the area median income; have at least $3,000 saved when applying; be able to access a mortgage from a qualified lender, and have a minimum income of $40,000. In addition, the maximum value of an existing home cannot exceed $532,000 or $555,000 for a newly constructed home, which means homeowners will likely find themselves west of the Shinnecock Canal. Single-family homes, condominiums, and cooperative apartments are eligible.
The website to apply is scdownpayment.com.