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Real Estate

Florida Housing relaunches first-time homebuyer program
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 18, 2019 – On March 4, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing)will relaunch the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance Program (HHF-DPA) in five approved counties.

This federal program was originally implemented to prevent foreclosures by stimulating home purchase activity and stabilizing neighborhoods in certain counties that demonstrated high levels on housing market distress.

HHF-DPA provides up to $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers and is forgivable over five years. Florida Housing has successfully disbursed 100 percent of the over $1 billion in HHF program funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Treasury two years ahead of schedule and is now using approximately $20 million in repayments of HHF program loans to assist additional Floridians.

Previously, HHF-DPA was available in 11 Florida counties. For the relaunch, Florida Housing used the latest market data to conduct a Treasury-mandated assessment of lingering negative effects in local housing markets. Based on this assessment, Florida Housing will assist eligible first-time homebuyers in Clay, Duval, Hillsborough, Osceola and Pasco counties.

"Statistics show that foreclosures have drastically decreased in Florida and that our state has recovered from the housing crisis," said Trey Price, executive director of Florida Housing. "This funding will further assist with the continued stabilization of recovering, distressed neighborhoods."

As of Jan. 31, 52,742 Florida families have received assistance through HHF programs and more than 20,000 received down payment and closing cost assistance through HHF-DPA. It is estimated that approximately 1,500 eligible first-time homebuyers will be assisted with this additional funding.

First announced on Feb. 19, 2010, by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets (HFA Hardest-Hit Fund) provides federal funding to states hardest hit by the aftermath of the burst of the housing bubble. Funding was allocated to 18 states and the District of Columbia.

Florida Housing was created by the Legislature more than 35 years ago. It's the state's housing finance agency (HFA) that administers state and federal resources to help provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for the citizens of Florida. For more information, visit floridahousing.org.