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Hometown Heroes: $20M Applications in Week 1

The Hometown Heroes Program strongly backed by Florida Realtors received applications requesting $11M the first day the updated program went into effect.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Hometown Heroes down payment assistance program reached $20 million in applications within the first week of launching the program’s second year of funding, which includes $11 million in applications on the first day alone, according to a release from Governor Ron DeSantis.

Florida Realtors strongly backed the program when it was initially created and again during the 2023 session of the Florida Legislature when it was updated and received new funding. The updated allows a broader category of Floridians to qualify for the assistance when purchasing their first home in the communities they serve.

Last year, the program provided more than $100 million for Florida’s hometown heroes. This year, the Hometown Heroes Program was included as part of broad real estate bill also backed by Florida Realtors, the Live Local Act, which DeSantis signed in March.

“In its first year of funding, the Hometown Heroes Program helped more than 6,700 first responders, veterans, nurses and educators purchase homes in the communities they serve,” says DeSantis.

“The Hometown Heroes program has quickly become Florida Housing’s most popular homeownership assistance program,” adds Mike DiNapoli, executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “Down payments and closing costs are one of the biggest barriers to homeownership for a lot of families and with these updated guidelines we are already seeing an increase in interest as more hardworking individuals are now eligible for this assistance.”

The program is now available to all Florida hometown workers in any occupation who earn less than 150% of their county’s area median income (AMI). Additionally, hometown heroes can now apply for a maximum down payment assistance amount of $35,000.

To be eligible for the Hometown Heroes program, homebuyers must have a minimum credit score of 640, be a first-time homebuyer and earn less than 150% AMI according to their local county data. To get started, buyers must connect with one of Florida Housing’s participating loan officers.

For more information on the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program or to connect with a loan officer in your area, visit floridahousing.org/hometownheroes.

© 2023 Florida Realtors®

https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2023/07/hometown-heroes-20m-applications-week-1