Updated May 31, 2024: Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program Expanded

In March 2023, the "Live Local Act" was approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis.  The Live Local Act expanded the program that helps first-time homebuyers in Florida. The program now offers up to $35,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to full-time workers and active duty/veterans. The program has been expanded to include all full-time workers, so you don't need a specific occupation to qualify.

To see if you're eligible, request a free quote. There's no obligation, and you could be one step closer to owning your own home using one of the best down payment assistance programs in the country.

Request Free quote
Hometown Hero Program Highlights
Florida Hometown Heroes Funds July 1, 2024

Effective May 31, 2024, the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program offers down payment and closing cost assistance to ALL BUYERS who have not owned a home as a primary residence in the last three years and/or veterans or active military service with up to $35,000 in assistance.

The Hometown Heroes Program is one of the best down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers, veterans, or active military in Florida. To learn more about the Florida Hometown Heroes Program and to find out if it’s a right option for you, contact our Clearwater, Florida office.

Hometown Heroes Program Highlights:

  • Reduced upfront fees 
  • 5% Down Payment assistance up to $35,000 ($10,000 grant minimum for loans of $200,000 or less)
  • The rate is lower than current market rates
  • No origination fee or discount points 
  • VA, FHA, USDA & Conventional loan types
  • 30 or 15 year fixed rate mortgage
  • Close in 30 Days or Less
  • First-time home buyer qualification is waived for active duty personnel or Veterans
  • Can be used to buy a manufactured home

You can use our down payment assistance with any of our first mortgage loans: VA, FHA, USDA, or Conventional. Borrowers can receive 5% of the loan amount in down payment assistance up to the maximum limit of $35,000.

What is the Florida Hometown Heroes Program?

In today's housing market, it can be challenging to save up enough money for a down payment and closing costs on a home. That's why the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program is here to help.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, veteran or active miltiary who lives and works in Florida, you may be eligible to receive up to $35,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.

Under this program, eligible buyers can receive 5% of their total mortgage loan amount, up to a maximum of $35,000, for down payment and/or closing costs. The assistance is provided as a deferred second mortgage with 0% interest. This second mortgage does not need to be repaid until you sell, refinance, pay off your primary mortgage, transfer the deed, or no longer live in the property as your primary residence.

This program can be used in conjunction with conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA loans. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving homeownership in Florida through the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program.

How Do You Receive the Down Payment Assistance?

The down payment and closing cost assistance in the Florida Hometown Heroes Program is available in the form of a 0% interest, non-amortizing, 30-year repayable second mortgage and is repayable upon sale of the property, refinancing of the first mortgage, transfer of deed or if the homeowner no longer occupies the property as their primary residence, this second mortgage becomes due and payable in full. Furthermore, the Florida Hometown Heroes loan is not forgivable.

You may use the down payment and closing cost assistance for the following:

  • Borrower’s down payment
  • Any down payment exceeding the minimum borrower requirement
  • Reasonable and customary closing costs

However, the assistance cannot be used to cover commission for real estate agents, the cost difference between the sales price and the appraised value or to pay off borrower debt.

What are the Florida Hometown Heroes Eligibility Requirements?

To qualify for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program, you must satisfy the requirements below:

Primary Residence – The property you purchase must be your new primary residence.

  • You have not owned a home in the past three years as your primary residence.
  • As a veteran, you are exempt from this requirement! (active duty is not exempt).
  • You can own a mobile home, but it must be on a rented lot or land and still qualify as a first-time homebuyer. 

If you own an investment property but you did not live in it, you may still qualify.  Additionally, if you were on the title of a home but you did not occupy it you may still qualify.  If you owned a house you lived in more than three years ago but haven’t owned one since, you would be considered a first-time homebuyer.

Income Limits - There are also income limits for qualifying. The income limits depend on where you live and are determined by loan type (FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional).  The gross income caps start at $128,250 and go up to $162,750 in high-cost counties. Listed below are the 2023-2024 HomeTown Heroes income limits for the most popular locations throughout FL:

  • Jacksonville: Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Nassau County = $132,750
  • Miami: Dade County = $154,800
  • Tampa: Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco County = $130,350
  • Orlando: Orange, Osceola, and Seminole County = $131,700
  • Tallahassee: Leon County = $129,000
  • Gainesville: Alachua County = $130,050
  • Ocala: Marion County = $128,250
  • West Palm Beach: Palm Beach County = $146,100
  • Naples: Collier County = $149,700
  • Key West: Monroe County = $162,750

Credit Qualifications -  If your credit score is below 640, reach out to an American Home Lending USA, LLC Loan Officer anyway. Our loan officers can help create a plan for getting your score to a 640 or higher and into the qualifying range.

  • You must meet the credit requirements for the loan type you have chosen (VA, FHA, USDA, and Conventional) - which is typically a credit score of 640 or higher.
  • Home Buyer Education is required. Your loan officer will assist you on how to complete this requirement. 

Who Is Considered a Frontline Worker for the Hometown Heroes Housing Program?

Effective July 1, 2023, the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program now includes ALL qualified full-time working residents, not just frontline workers.

Clearwater, Florida Branch

Providing home loans to the entire state of Florida since 2013. Since January 2008, we have maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have helped thousands of borrowers.  Call or text our office at 727-400-3293.


Apply Now
American Home Lending USA Top Rated Lender