The ‘DC Open Doors’ Program

In June 2013, DC’s Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) restructured its previous DC Bonds program to make home buying assistance funds more available to both first time buyers and repeat home buyers. The current program is called the DCHFA “DC Open Doors” Program. DC Open Doors is designed to increase affordable homeownership in the nation’s capital through down payment assistance and mortgage financing.

This new program is much more accessible to those working in the District who wish to live downtown as well, and strives to eliminate the biggest obstacle to purchasing a home in DC – the down payment. This program has been a phenomenal success since it’s launch.

DCHFA’s DC Open Doors program is built around a Down Payment Assistance Loan (DPAL) that does not have to be paid back. This is essentially “free money” – the Down Payment Loan’s balance due reduces by 20% each year for a term of 5 years, ending in a zero balance due.

Here’s what you will need in order to potentially use the DCHFA Down Payment Assistance Loans:

  • You must earn UNDER $125,580 per year.
  • You must have a decent to fair Credit Score (640+)
  • You must have a Real Estate Agent to help you search for a home & negotiate the transaction.
  • You must find a home or condo in Washington, D.C. that you can qualify for financially
    with a DCHFA approved Lender.
  • You DO NOT have to currently live in Washington, D.C.

Program basic qualifications are as follows:

  • DCHFA will pay the full amount of your qualified Down Payment (between 3% and 3.5% of the home purchase price).
  • The Down Payment Assistance Loan is issued; the balance due reduces by 20% each year for 5 years, ending at a zero balance.
  • The loan is at a 0% interest rate & no payments are due during the loan’s term.
  • There are a few situations where you may default on the loan – the loan becomes Repayable or Due if you Sell the home, Refinance or are not the Primary Occupant during the 5 year term.
  • Open to all DC neighborhoods & Wards.

More info and Pre-Enrollment is available here.