What is Florida’s Hometown Heroes Housing Program?

If you’re a full-time employed Floridian looking to buy a home for the first time, did you know you could qualify to receive up to $35,000 to help with your down payment and closing costs? Thanks to the Hometown Heroes Housing Program, homeownership might be closer than you think.

So, What is it?

This program was created in June 2022 to help frontline workers afford homes in the community in which they work and serve. Down payment and closing cost assistance was given to over 6,700 veterans, active-duty military members, nurses, teachers and law enforcement officers, according to a news release from the office of Governor Ron DeSantis.

However, as of July 1, 2023, guidelines no longer require a frontline work position, allowing more Florida first-time homebuyers to benefit from the program.

Additionally, more funding was allocated for the program through the Live Local Act, and the maximum down payment and closing cost assistance has increased to help make first-time homeownership more affordable for Florida’s workforce.

Who is Considered a First-Time Homebuyer?

A first-time homebuyer doesn’t just refer to someone who has NEVER owned a home; anyone who has not owned and lived in their own home in the last three years can also be considered a first-time buyer.

What Are Program’s Benefits?

Those that qualify can receive 5% of the first mortgage loan amount up to $35,000 in the form of a zero-interest, non-amortizing 30-year deferred second mortgage.

The program also offers lower-than-market interest rates on FHA, VA, RD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac first mortgages as well as reduced upfront fees, no origination points and no discount points. There’s also no cost to apply, so beware of anyone who tells you otherwise.

This non-forgivable second mortgage is only due in full when the home is sold or refinanced, the deed is transferred, the first mortgage is paid or it is no longer the owner’s primary residence.

Those who have served and continue to serve their country can also receive a lower first mortgage interest rate and additional special benefits.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • Must Be Employed Full-Time by a Florida-Based Employer
  • Must Work With a Participating Loan Officer (Like Us!)
  • Must Have a 640 Minimum FICO Score
  • First-Time Homebuyers Only (Considered Anyone Who Has Not Owned a Home in Three or More Years)
  • Must Earn Less Than 150% of the Area Median Income According to Local County Data
  • Must Purchase a Home in the Community in Which You’re Employed
  • Must Complete a Homebuyer Education Course

What are the Income and Loan Limits?

Both vary based on the county, family size and type of loan, but income limits range from $103,500 to $162,750 and loan limits range from $472,030 to $874,000 as of May 23, 2023. For the most up-to-date limits, click here.

How Do I Know if I’m Eligible?

Our knowledgeable team can help determine if you might be eligible and assist you in applying! Contact one of our Loan Officers today to get started.

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NQM Funding, LLC (NMLS # 75597) dba - Premier Mortgage Associates; Villa Home Loans; Texas: Consumers wishing to file a complaint against a mortgage company or a licensed residential mortgage loan originator should complete and send a complaint form to the Texas department of savings and mortgage lending, 2601 North Lamar, Suite 201, Austin, Texas 78705. Complaint forms and instructions may be obtained from the department’s website at A toll-free consumer hotline is available at 1-877-276-5550. The department maintains a recovery fund to make payments of certain actual out-of-pocket damages sustained by borrowers caused by acts of licensed residential mortgage loan originators. A written application for reimbursement from the recovery fund must be filed with and investigated by the department prior to the payment of a claim. For more information about the recovery fund, please consult the department’s website at -