1. Learn about this resource. 

Prospective homeowners can receive a loan up to $80,000 in financing assistance and up to an additional $4,000 in closing cost assistance in the form of a loan. The amount of assistance and length of the loan deferment period is determined by your income and household size.


This program is called the Home Purchase Assistance Program and is offered by the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development.

2. Check if you are eligible.

You are eligible if all of these statements are true:

  • You are a first-time homebuyer.

  • You do not have ownership interest in any residential real estate within the past three years before applying.

  • Your annual gross household income is at or below the maximum limits for your household size. 

get financial assistance to buy a home?


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3. Apply.

  1. Schedule a virtual orientation session with a housing counselor by calling one of our partner organizations.
  2. After the orientation, contact a housing counselor from the organization for an appointment.
  3. Submit the necessary documents to the counselor, who will determine your eligibility.
  4. If eligible, the housing counselor will finalize and send your application to the program administrator for review.
You can apply at any time.

4. Gather more information.

What happens after I apply?

  1. The program administrator will review your application and determines your eligibility. The current program administrators are the Greater Washington Urban League and the DC Housing Finance Agency.
  2. You will receive a Notice of Eligibility (NOE) by mail. The notice includes the maximum amount of assistance available to you and the next steps to take.
  3. Within 1 year from the date of the NOE, you will need to complete the homebuying process along with the help of one of our organization partners:
    • Complete an eight hour homebuying training with one of our partner organizations.
    • Find a first trust lender and a home you’d like to buy. We recommend finding a realtor to support you through the process.
    • Once your offer is accepted, have the home inspected.
  4. The program administrator will review your first trust loan and home inspection report. If everything is approved, they will wire payment assistance to your title company for the purchase.
  5. You’re in your home!
If your application is not approved, you can reapply, but you must meet eligibility criteria when you reapply.

Are there any additional requirements I should know about?

  • The home that you buy must be your main place of residence, so you can’t rent it out to others.
  • The maximum first trust loan amount cannot exceed $510,400. This is the highest amount you can borrow from the bank, so that means you must find a home where the sale price minus your down payment is less than $510,400.
  • Your loan repayment plan depends on your household income:
    • For households with incomes between $83,200 - $141,750 (based on household size), you don’t have to make payments on your loan until after the first five years. Then in year six, you’ll begin making monthly payments at 0% interest over 40 years.
    • For households with incomes between $42,450 - $121,300 (based on household size), you don’t have to make payments on your loan until you sell the home, refinance, or move out.
Your repayment terms will be shared when you are approved for the loan.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please reach out to the Home Purchase Assistance Program team at (202) 442-7200, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 4:45 pm. Or, you can email the team at dhcd@dc.gov using the subject line “HPAP.”

I still need help preparing to buy a home. What should I do?

You can find information about other resources that might help on our prepare to buy a home resources page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a first trust lender? This is the entity that provides you with a mortgage to buy your home. If you do not pay your mortgage, the first trust lender has the right, before any other lenders, to foreclose on your home. They are first. Can I use this financial assistance with other assistance the District offers? Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can also receive assistance from the Employer-Assisted Housing Program and the Negotiated Employee Assisted Housing Program. Can I receive a loan if I have received one from this program before? You can receive HPAP assistance as long as you are a first time homebuyer. This means you cannot have owned residential real estate for the previous 3 years.

Do all eligible applicants get financial assistance?

No. Assistance is offered on a first come, first served basis. In a typical year, about 300 households will receive a loan.

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Keywords: interest-free loan, first-time homebuyer, income limits, homebuying assistance, down payment, closing costs, title fees, homeowner's insurance, credit score, income limits, mortgage, buying a home, mortgage assistance, homeownership


This page was last updated May 2021.

You do not need to be a current DC resident to apply for the program.  However, preference is given to DC residents.