Down Payment Assistance

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When purchasing a home, it is likely there will be a down payment required. At HomeStart, we can help match you to a down payment assistance program that fits you and your family’s needs. Most programs are on a first-come, first-served basis and are accompanied by income restrictions.

State of Illinois

The state of Illinois has two down payment and closing cost assistance programs: Down Payment Plus and First Home Illinois. Both programs are five-year, forgivable grants paid on behalf of the borrower at the time the borrower closes on mortgage financing with a participating financial institution.

Programs require that the borrower:

  • Contribute a minimum of $1,000 from personal funds toward the purchase of a home
  • Complete a homebuyer counseling program prior to receiving grant funds, like HomeStart’s Homebuyer Education Course
  • Purchase a one- or two-unit property in Illinois
  • Live in the property as primary residence

HomeStart’s Homebuyer Incentive Program

In partnership with Midland States Bank, the HomeStart Homebuyer Incentive Program offers qualified buyers a grant of $2,500 to be used towards the purchase of their home. To qualify, homebuyers must purchase within HomeStart’s 10 county service area, the home purchased must be the primary residence of the homebuyer, and the applicant must be of low to moderate income or purchase within a low to moderate income census tract. Applicants must also complete one-on-one counseling and homebuyer education. To learn more about this program call our office at 815-962-2011!

Down Payment Plus

Down Payment Plus is funded through the Affordable Housing Program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. The DPP program is a purchase program, not a refinance program. The maximum amount of the grant is $6,000. The Borrower must have an annual household income at or below 80% of the HUD median income of the area in which the property is located. The property can also be located in Wisconsin. For participating lenders and more information, visit the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s website.

First Home Illinois

First Home Illinois is funded through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) for first time homebuyers. The maximum amount of the grant is $7,500 and the homebuyer must be financing with a 30-year fixed rate loan. For income limits, participating lenders and more information, visit the Neighborhood Loans website.

City of Rockford

Homebuyer/Rehabilitation Program

HomeStart is proud to partner with the City of Rockford's Homebuyer/Rehabilitation program, a program granting homebuyers up to $5,000 in down payment assistance toward the purchase of a currently vacant home, as well as up to $20,000 toward repairs on a new home. In some situations, the city can provide up to an additional $5,000 in homebuyer assistance and up to another $15,000 in rehabilitation funds. Please visit the City's program website for more information about the program.

Creating choice in housing, community in neighborhoods, and empowerment in personal finance throughout northern Illinois.