Philadelphia First-Time Home Buyer Grant Programs, 2016

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Are you hoping to buy your first home in Philadelphia in 2016? Do you need a little assistance with your down payment and/or closing costs? If you answered yes to these questions, you should learn all you can about the two city programs mentioned below. They offer home buying assistance to Philadelphia buyers with low or moderate income.

First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Philadelphia

First-time home buyers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania could qualify for a home buying grant program offered by the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD). The OHCD offers two different grant programs for Philadelphia first-time home buyers in 2016. Here’s an overview of each program and what it offers.

Note: The agency points out that the definition of a “first-time buyer” varies from one program to the next. In some cases, people who have owned a house in the past could still qualify for grant assistance.

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Program #1: Homebuyer Assistance Grant

Through this program, OHCD provides up to $10,000 or 6% of the purchase price (whichever is lower) to eligible first-time home buyers who are purchasing a property located within a selected development. See the list of developments below. The money can be used for the down payment as well as closing costs.

Buyers who wish to participate in the program and receive grant money must complete an approved housing counseling program. Additionally, there are income requirements in place to prevent “high-income” borrowers from obtaining funds.

Approved developments for this first-time buyer program include:

  • Lawrence Court Homeownership Development (new construction) located on the 3300 block of North Lawrence Street
  • Sheridan Street Development (new construction) on the 1800 block of Sheridan Street
  • Strawberry Mansion Townhomes (new construction) located on the 1900 and 2000 blocks of North 31st Street

To apply: Philadelphia home buyers who wish to apply for the down payment and closing cost assistance program should review the list of eligible developments and contact the developer of the home being purchased. The developer will point you toward the approved housing counseling agency that is responsible for buyers within that development.

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Program #2: Settlement Grants

The OHCD also provides smaller grants of up to $500 per household to be used toward closing costs. Closing costs are the various fees that add up during the home buying process, many of which are related to mortgage loan processing. Closing costs can add up to several thousand dollars.

This program is open to eligible first-time home buyers in Philadelphia who meet income requirements similar to those mentioned earlier. It is designed for low and moderate-income buyers. The property being purchased must be a single-family home or duplex located within Philadelphia.

To apply: First-time home buyers in Philadelphia who wish to apply for the grant program must contact one of the OHCD-funded housing counseling agencies listed on their website. Visit the page below to find a list of these approved agencies:

Disclaimers: These are not the only home buying programs available for first-time buyers in Philadelphia. These are just two of the most prominent options for buyers with limited funds. This information was current at the time of publication, which was September 2015. There’s always a chance the governing agency may change certain aspects of these home buying grant programs. So you should refer to the official website below to receive the most current information available.

For additional housing information visit or call 215-686-9749.