The Florida Hometown Heroes Program
The Florida Hometown Heroes (HTH) program is a highly successful initiative aimed at helping eligible first-time borrowers who live and work in Florida. The Hometown Heroes program was initially introduced to assist individuals in specific occupations but has now been expanded to include all eligible Florida residents employed full-time by a Florida-based employer working 35 hours or more per week. The program has proven to be a vital tool in assisting first-time borrowers to overcome the hurdle of home ownership affordability in Florida.
In response to the Florida Hometown Hero program’s massive success, Florida Housing’s Board of Directors approved an additional $36 million for the HTH Loan Program, released on November 6, 2023. The additional funding is a testament to the success of HTH. It highlights the continued support by Florida Housing towards this critical initiative to support local communities and first-time homebuyers in Florida.
The Florida HTH program provides eligible borrowers with down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage program. This second mortgage becomes due and payable only upon selling the property, refinancing the first mortgage, transfer of the deed, or if the homeowner no longer occupies the property as their primary residence. The Florida Hometown Heroes loan is not forgivable. This program helps eligible borrowers overcome one of the most significant challenges when it comes to homeownership affordability – the down payment and closing costs.
The program has already assisted over 13,000 eligible first-time borrowers who live and work in Florida, and the additional $36 million is expected to provide further relief and support for first-time borrowers. Borrowers are encouraged to act quickly as the funds are expected to be fully committed soon after release. Florida Housing anticipates that additional funding may not be available for the HTH Program until sometime in 2024.
The Florida Hometown Heroes program assists eligible first-time homebuyers and helps secure homeownership affordability for those who contribute to the success of Florida’s neighborhoods and communities. The program is a testament to the dedication of Florida Housing toward providing homeownership opportunities to those who live and work in Florida.
The Hometown Heroes program guidelines include some of the following stipulations:
- The borrower must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer and work 35 or more hours per week.
- The borrower must be a first-time homebuyer, meaning no homeownership in the past three years.
- The home must be a principal residence
- The borrower must not exceed the maximum income limits
- 60 calendar days from loan reservation to loan purchase
- The assistance amount is 5% of the total loan amount up to $35,000
- Homebuyer Education Required