Budget Drain: DC’s Low-Income Homebuyer Initiative Depletes Funding Nearly a Year Earlier than Expected

The District declared that due to a lack of resources, applications for its homebuyer assistance program are no longer being accepted.

The $26.2 million fund was scheduled to stretch from October 2023 through this September.

Applying to the program, which provides interest-free loans and closing cost assistance, is open to residents of D.C. with low to moderate income. For home purchases, those who qualify for the program can get up to $202,000 each, plus an additional $4,000 for closing costs.

Now, anyone who would like to apply will have to wait until October, when the program reopens for the 2025 fiscal year.

The program’s financial support would rise from $80,000 to $202,000, the city stated in October 2022.

Budget Drain DC's Low-Income Homebuyer Initiative Depletes Funding Nearly a Year Earlier than Expected (1)

In a 2022 release, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., stated, “We know that homeownership is an important tool for closing racial wealth gaps in our city.”

Households who make up 50% of the District’s median family income are eligible for the entire $202,000, the District stated. The applicant can utilize that money to bridge the difference between the amount they have saved and the cost of the house by taking out an interest-free loan.

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For the first five years of home ownership, and the next forty years, residents who make between 80 and 110 percent of the city’s median income, are allowed to postpone mortgage payments and make solely principal payments.

The maximum number of 3,500 people who were accepted into emergency rental assistance, another housing support program in Washington, D.C., reached its ceiling on January 2. Beginning on April 1, individuals who require assistance with rent payments may reapply.

The program’s requirements include having rent arrears of at least thirty days and making less than forty percent of the regional median income.

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