Louisiana Down Payment Assistance

Louisiana is home to lots of culture, good music, and tasty food! However, rising real estate prices can make home ownership in Louisiana difficult. Luckily, local and national programs exist that offer down payment assistance and grants to qualified applicants. The Louisiana Housing Corporation is one organization that offers such programs.

If you're thinking about purchasing a home in Louisiana, you may have options to help with the down payment or closing costs. Click on any program below to learn more and see if it can help with your home purchase!

Expand to Homeownership

Individuals looking to purchase a home in New Orleans may be able to take advantage of this Expand to Homeownership program.

As much as 4% of the loan amount is offered to eligible applicants as a grant to help pay for the down payment and closing costs. In the event that the applicant stops using the property as their primary residence, they may need to pay this grant back.

In order to be eligible, an individual must not have an annual income higher than $84,000 for FHA or VA loans, or an annual income higher than $99,000 for conventional loans. Further, applicants cannot have a credit score lower than 640 or a debt-to-income ratio more than 45%. The loan amount can also not be more than $271,050 for FHA loans, or $417,000 for conventional and VA loans. These figures are accurate as of 2020 but may change.

Finally, applicants must complete approved homebuyer counseling. Only counseling that has been certified by the Louisiana Homebuyer Education Collaborative will be accepted.

First-time Homebuyers Assistance Program

This program, available to those in the city of Kenner and created by the city’s Department of Community Development, offers forgivable loans to families with median, moderate, or low income. As much as $50,000 is offered to help applicants pay for the down payment, closing costs, or the principal reduction of their mortgage. This loan is forgivable, but has an occupancy requirement where the applicants has to use the house as their primary residence for a specified amount of time. The time requirement depends on the amount of assistance received. If the applicant receives less than $15,000, the requirement is 5 years. If they receive between $15,000 and $40,000, the requirement is 10 years. If they receive more than $40,000, the requirement is 15 years.

The amount of assistance offered depends on multiple factors, including financial need, property selling price, and assets. In the event that the property is no longer used as a primary residence within the time requirement (such as if it is sold, vacated, abandoned, or used as an investment property), the loan will need to be repaid.

There are several requirements for properties purchased using this program. Properties must be in Kenner, be owner-occupied and the primary residence of the borrower, be single-unit properties, pass inspections, and cannot exceed a purchase price of $180,000.

Only first-time homebuyers are allowed to participate in this program. Further, applicants cannot have been disqualified from this program within the last three years, must be a US citizen or legal alien, and must fall within the accepted income limits.

Home Buyers Assistance Program Participation Initiative (HAPPI)

HAPPI is available to those in Shreveport who qualify. As much as 20% of the appraised value or purchase price of the house (whichever is the smaller amount) is offered as down payment and closing cost assistance.

Only first-time homebuyers are allowed in the program. Further, individuals must have approved homebuyer education. Applicants must also be credit-worthy and fall within defined annual household income limits. As of 2020, these limits are as follows:

  • 1 person household: $31,750
  • 2 person household: $36,250
  • 3 person household: $40,800
  • 4 person household: $45,300
  • 5 person household: $48,950
  • 6 person household: $52,550
  • 7 person household: $56,200
  • 8 person household: $59,800

Only primary residences are allowed to be purchased using this program. Specific mortgage insurance is required, and minimum property standards must be met. Repossessed or manufactured housing is not allowed, and neither is HUD or VA housing.

Southern Mortgage Assistance Program

This program, offered by the Jefferson Parish Finance Authority, provides up to 4% of the loan amount as down payment or closing cost assistance.

Assistance is offered in the form of a grant. FHA, VA, or RHS loan borrowers can receive up to 3% or 4% of the loan amount, while Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Loan can receive up to 3%.

In order to qualify, an individual can have a credit score no lower than 640. Annual income cannot be more than $69,000 (for FHA, VA, or RHS) or $99,000 (for Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Loan). Those utilizing a Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Loan must be first time homebuyers and must complete homebuyer education.

Only properties located within the Parish of Jefferson are eligible for this program. The purchase price limits for 2020 are as follows: $271,050 for an FHA loan, or $417,000 for a VA or Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Loan. There is no limit for an RHS loan.

Only single-family homes are allowed, but properties can be either new or existing residences. The property must be used as the applicant’s primary residence. Manufactured housing is not allowed.

Market Rate GNMA Program

The Louisiana Housing Corporation has provided the Market Rate GNMA Program to eligible individuals.

As much as 4% of the purchase price of the house can be accessed as funds to pay for part or all of the down payment, closing costs, or other prepaid items. As an added bonus, this program does not have any origination or discount fees.

In order to qualify, applicants cannot have a credit score lower than 640 or an annual income limit more than 115% of the area median income. Only single-family properties in Louisiana are accepted.

Interested individuals should talk with potential lenders about this program.

LHC Preferred Conventional Program

The Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) has created the LHC Preferred Conventional Program, a program which can help with closing costs, prepaid items, and the down payment.

As much as 4% of the sales price of a home is offered to eligible applicants.

In order to qualify, an applicant cannot have an annual income higher than $99,000 or a credit score lower than 640.

This program does not have a first-time homebuyer requirement, but first-time homebuyers who apply are required to finish a homebuyer education class.

Only single-family properties (with 1 or 2 units) that are owner-occupied are allowed.

This program has higher loan-to-value limits (LTV) than FHA loans. The LTV is 97% for 1-unit properties and for 2-unit properties it’s 95%.

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