Down Payment Assistance Programs Available in Oregon

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If you live in Oregon and have dreamed of owning your own home, but have struggled to save the money for a down payment, some down payment assistance programs might be able to help you. Keep in mind that programs vary by region and eligibility. Your best bet is to talk to your local mortgage broker to see what down payment programs might individually work for you. Here are the details on some of these programs.

Extra Step

One of the organizations that have stepped up to help potential homeowners struggling to save for a down payment is Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services (WNHS). It provides a combination of financial assistance, homebuyer education courses, and counseling. The goal of the WNHS is to help bridge the affordability gap and assist qualified individuals with climbing out of the renters trap by providing up to $10,000 for down payment assistance. You must be a first-time homebuyer purchasing a home in Linn, Benton or Lincoln Counties to qualify.

Project Reinvest Loan

A Project Reinvest Loan provides up to $10,500 in down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers in Linn, Benton or Lincoln Counties. Both Project Reinvest and Extra Step are interest-free loans. Payment is not due until the home is sold, or the loan is refinanced.  Eligible applicants must attend eight hours of Home Buyer Education, along with a minimum of one hour of a personalized Home Purchase Consultation. 

Corvallis First Time Home Buyer’s Assistance Program

This First Time Home Buyers Program offers assistance in the form of a zero-interest loan of up to $20,000 for qualifying low-income, first-time homebuyers within the city of Corvallis. You can use the funds toward covering the closing costs or down payment required for a mortgage. To qualify, you must be a first-time homebuyer and mustn’t have owned a home in the past three years. Also, you must have an annual household income that is below 80 percent of the HUD’s area median income. You will also need to complete a Homebuyer Education program.

HOME Foundation Buyers Assistance Grant

The Oregon Association of Realtors (OAR) and Rogue Valley Association of Realtors (RVAR) funds the HOME Foundation Buyers Assistance Grant. The program provides eligible homebuyers up to $1,000 for a down payment or closing costs, or prepaid items. The program is only available to first-time homebuyers who haven’t owned a home in the past three years and have been pre-approved for a conventional or government-guaranteed home loan. Your household income can’t exceed the State of Oregon’s median income. You will also need to contribute at least $500 of your own funds. All applicants are required to attend and complete a Realizing the American Dream Homebuyer Education class and meet with a Certified Homeownership Counselor. The home must be located in Jackson or Josephine County, Oregon, and be used as a primary residence.

The type of financial assistance you may receive depends on the area and your specific circumstances. So, even if none of these programs would work for you, you should still meet with a loan representative to learn your options and come up with a plan.

Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer