First Time Homebuyer
Direct Homeownership Assistance Program

Home Ownership Assistance (First Time Homebuyer or Direct Homeownership Assistance Program (DHAP)) is a grant funded service that provides financial assistance to first time homebuyers in order to cover down payment and/or closing costs, plus property rehabilitation expenses when needed.

The below section is a general overview of the program and does not include all program requirements:

HOMEOWNERSHIP COUNSELING: Qualified applicants will be required to attend a Homebuyer Education Course as a contingent of receiving a grant to assist with down payment, closing costs and rehabilitation costs. Neighbors of Watertown offers the course locally. 

CHOOSING A HOME:  No home with a sales price over $125,000 may be purchased through this Program unless it  the size of the family requires a larger home and the mortgage payment is lower than 30% of the adjusted family income.

ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS: Home improvements to the proposed Project are items that have "failed" on the HUD Quality Standards Inspection Form. REHABILITATION DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:  Landscaping, Fireplaces, Blacktopping driveways,  Woodstoves, Washer or dryer,   Slate roofs or cedar shake roofs, Air conditioner,  Window walls, Room partitions, Skylights Room additions, Luxury items (swimming pools, Garages, saunas, whirlpools), nor   Moving house to new foundation(s).

BANK COMMITMENT: If you have a feasible Project, you will be directed to a participating bank that has agreed to participate in this Program and has special mortgage programs to help you finance your project. The bank may require you to pay up-front for the appraisal and the bank’s credit check. If the Credit Check indicates that you may have a problem in obtaining a Mortgage Commitment, the bank may be able to help you through the problem. If you receive a Mortgage Commitment, the appraisal fee and credit check fee that you paid will be credited towards the closing costs. Closing costs are an eligible Project cost, depending on how much of a Mortgage Reduction and Improvements Grant are needed for your Project.

AFFORDABILITY/RESIDENCY PERIOD: Under the regulations of this program there is a residency/affordability period, which states that the buyer must use the property as his/her principle place of residence. The affordability/residency period is ten (10) years from the date of project completion, to be based on a declining term. If the home is sold during the affordability/residency period, the seller will be responsible for the repayment of all PROGRAM FUNDS.

If you are interested in participating in the Home Ownership Assistance Program select JOIN OUR WAITLIST below!

Lewis County Median Income

In order to repair your home, you must meet fall within a certain percentage of the county median income. This chart below will help you to determine where you are. For more information on what limits particular grants use, click here.


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