Columbia Homeownership Assistance Program

For low-to-moderate income households looking to purchase a home in the city of Columbia, this program offers as much as 10% of the purchase price of a house, or $10,000, whichever is the smaller amount. This amount can be used to help pay for the down payment, closing costs or for a principal reduction of the first mortgage.

Assistance is offered in the form of zero-interest forgivable loan with a ten-year term.

Only first-time homebuyers, displaced home-makers, or single parents can qualify for this program. Applicants must be able to put down a minimum of $500 towards the purchase, but cannot have more than $15,000 in liquid assets. Homebuyer education will be required. As of 2020, the minimum combined credit score for the program is 600, but lower scores may be accepted in the right circumstances.

The property must be a single or multi-family structure in the city limits of Columbia, but not in a flood plain. An inspection must be done to confirm the structure is up to code. Any deficiencies must be corrected prior to funding. Purchase price limits will apply.

In the event that the property was built before 1978 and has deteriorated paint, a lead risk assessment may be required. If lead paint is found, it must be remediated. A $500 grant will be made available to help with this cost, but any cost higher than that must be paid either by the borrower or the seller.

Applicants must use the property as their primary residence for at least ten years. If they rent, sell, or otherwise stop using the property as their primary residence in the ten-year period, any unforgiven loan amount will need to be repaid.

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