Homeownership in the nation's capital is possible through a special program for DC government employees. Eligible employees can apply for financial assistance through the Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP). The program provides assistance with down payment and closing costs toward an employee's first home.
In 2017, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced enhancements to the program that increased loans and matching fund amounts for all employees. First responders received additional benefits under the new enhancements. While the program is subject to funding availability, it is important to understand how it works and how to make it work for you.
Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP)
The core benefits of the program are a deferred, zero interest loan and a matching fund grant. The following requirements are part of the application process:
- The purchase is of a primary residence located within the District. Examples of a primary residence include a house, condominium, or cooperative unit
- No payments are required until the property sold, no longer occupied as a primary residence, or refinanced with cash out
Employees who borrow through EAHP must sign a promissory note secured with a subordinate deed of trust recorded against the property. The program does not require a cash contribution and there is no income cap for applicants. The program basis the maximum purchase price of $636,150 upon the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loan limits for home buying in the District.
First responders who commit to a five-year service obligation are eligible for up to $10,000 in down payment assistance. Using a recoverable grant, applicants must maintain the property as their primary residence for five years and fulfill their service requirement. Should the applicant not meet the conditions of the grant, the grant converts to deferred zero interest loan.
Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP)
Another program available to District employees is the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). Applicants may qualify for zero-interest loans and closing costs assistance. While similar to the EAHP, this program is different in the following ways:
- A combination of factors influences the loan amount. For example, income, household size, and the number of assets influence the amount of loan awarded
- A loan through HPAP is subordinate to a private, first trust mortgage
An applicants income places an important role in the HPAP process, unlike EAHP. Employees of DC government interested in pursuing their dream of homeownership should explore both programs carefully.
How First Savings Mortgage Can Help
Homeownership in the nation's capital for many DC government employees. The city strives to provide an incentive for employees to reside within the communities where they work. This is especially true for first responders.
Understanding the EAHP and how it differs from the HPAP is often overwhelming for most employees. At First Savings Mortgage, we've been helping D.C. metro residents with purchasing their first home since 1989. We know the area and we understand the loan process.
Our highly experienced loan officers and our friendly employees will guide you through the paperwork and necessary documents. We'll help you choose the best program for you and your family, based upon your goals and finances.
To learn more about First Savings Mortgage Corporation and how we can help you achieve homeownership, contact us today. Living in the city where you work requires less commute time and allows for more time with family and relaxing.
If you are an employee of Washington, D.C. government and you want to learn more about the available programs for homeownership, we can help. The path to obtaining your house keys is often complicated and complex. We'll work hard to make the transition as smooth as possible by finding the right program for you.