By Caroline Benson
Originally published in Florida Housing’s News & Events
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation announced the June 1 launch of the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to help Floridians in over 50 critical professions purchase their first home. The Hometown Heroes Housing Program will be available to Floridians including law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans.
Florida Housing received $100 million from the state Legislature this year to establish and administer the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program. This program will aid essential community workers in 50 different eligible professions with down payment and closing cost assistance to help first-time, income-qualified homebuyers purchase a primary residence in the communities they serve. Funds will be available to reserve starting June 1, which coincides with National Homeownership Month.
“In Florida, we value the contributions of our police, firefighters, teachers, and nurses,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our hometown heroes are the backbone of Florida communities and making sure that they can afford to be homeowners is a great way to give back to them and support the future of the American Dream.”
“Florida Housing is extremely grateful to those who have remained committed to serving their communities, especially during these challenging financial times,” said Trey Price, Executive Director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “Hometown Heroes will provide the financial assistance necessary to help these hardworking individuals finally achieve the American Dream of homeownership, and we look forward to the positive impacts this accomplishment will have on so many Florida families.”
“DEO is proud to stand beside Governor DeSantis as he prioritizes our state’s vital workers, including our first responders, nurses, and teachers,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “These men and women are heroes who ensure our communities’ crucial needs are met, and we are grateful to take part in this initiative to show our gratitude.”
“I have been a teacher for 25 years,” said Melba Lugo, Second Grade Teacher, Mid Cape Global Academy. “In one day, I changed cities, I changed jobs and I bought a house. Thank you for this program and I want to thank all of these people that have made this possible. Owning a house seemed like such a distant, far away dream. I am 63 and at this age you are supposed to be paying off your mortgage, but everything is good and beautiful when you walk in God’s time.”
To qualify for this program, homebuyers must connect with a participating loan officer, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations and meet the income threshold for their county. Eligible borrowers will receive up to 5% of the first mortgage loan amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.
For more information, please call 844-247-6555 or visit www.floridahousing.org/hometownheroes.