Home Town Heros Program

What is the Hometown Heroes Program in Florida 2023?

Now Available To First Time Homebuyers July 1 2023

The Hometown Heroes program is a housing assistance initiative launched in 2022 to assist local community workers with down payment and closing cost assistance for purchasing a primary residence.

Eligible Borrowers 

First Time Homebuyer means, except for borrowers purchasing under the Veterans Exception, the borrower must have had no Ownership Interest in a principal residence at any time during the three-year period prior to the date on which the Mortgage Loan is executed. The borrower is required to be a first-time homebuyer Veterans and active-duty military members are exempt from all of the above first-time homebuyer requirements except for HFA (Housing Finance Agency”) preferred loans The subject property is the only property that the borrower is eligible to own at the time of closing.

Only borrowers with a valid social security number are allowed A borrower may not close a loan held in an LLC Maximum Borrowers -There can be no more than four borrowers per loan Fico Score 640

Homebuyer Education 

Required Homebuyer education is required to be completed by all borrowers utilizing income from an approved Hometown Hero occupation. Education must be issued through the NIS or aligns with a HUD Counseling Program **Veterans are NOT exempt from completing an education course A Conventional purchase of a 2–4-unit property requires a landlord education course to be completed by the borrower(s)  

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Paying Off Debt

 Paying off debt at closing is not permitted Paying off debt prior to closing is acceptable with evidence debt is paid in full and the source of funds used to pay off the debt Cash back to the borrower is not permitted. Any potential cash back, including the EMD, (Earnest Money Deposit) reimbursed up to $1,000 as a principal reduction

Codifies Florida Hometown Hero Program 

• Codifies the Hometown Hero program in state statute

• Provides a minimum of $10,000 and up to 5 percent of the first

mortgage, not exceeding $35,000, in down payment assistance

• Assistance is a 0% interest loan due at sale, refinancing, rental of


• Can serve households up to 150% of state median income or local

median income, whichever is greater

• Must be first-time homebuyer and employed full-time (35 hours

or more per week) by a Florida based employer

Note, an eligible homebuyer does not need to be in a specific industry

• Provides $100 million from General Revenue for the Florida Hometown Hero Housing Program 

• 5% of the TOTAL loan amount capped at $35,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance offered as a 0%, nonamortizing, 30-year, repayable second mortgage. However, if any of the following occur, the borrower(s) refinance, pay off the first mortgage, transfer deed or no longer occupy the property as their primary residence, any unpaid principal balance will be required to be repaid, in full.

Self-Employed Borrowers

 Borrower must be documented as full-time as evidenced by a copy of a work schedule or a copy of paystubs indicating 35+ hours per week or full-time employment covering four to six weeks must be utilized tax transcripts when tax returns are used to qualify a borrower, lender-obtained IRS transcripts are required

Manufactured Homes 

Not eligible on VA and Freddie Mac loans the minimum required FICO is 660 The maximum DTI allowed is 45% The property must not have been constructed prior to 1994 The home must be permanently affixed, and affixture must be recorded prior to clearing the loan to close The property must be permanently connected to residential utilities Singlewide properties are ineligible

Appraisal Requirements 

Value Acceptance + Property Data Collection, Hybrid appraisals, and ACE + PDR are not permitted Loans that include proprietary messages that indicate 100% of the loans submitted with appraisals from the identified appraiser or supervisory appraiser will be reviewed or appraisals will not be accepted from the identified appraiser or supervisory appraiser as applicable


 Conventional new attached projects in Florida must be on FNMA approved list 

Second Mortgage

 The second mortgage will be 5% of the first mortgage loan amount, not to exceed $35,000 The second mortgage will be deferred for 30 years with no monthly payments required

Repayment Terms

 In the case of a sale, transfer of deed, satisfaction of the first mortgage, refinancing of the first mortgage, or the borrower will no longer occupy the property, the second mortgage will become due and payable in full This loan is not forgivable 

Amount of Assistance The second mortgage will be 5% of the first mortgage loan amount, not to exceed $35,000 Hometown Heroes Second Mortgage Fees Recording fee ONLY Doc Stamp and Intangible Tax First and second notes and mortgages are exempt

Ineligible Property Types 

Co-ops, Single-wide manufactured homes, land trusts, leaseholds any property located outside of the state of Florida construction to permanent loans

This is NOT an exhaustive list of products not offered by Wholesale Direct Mortgages. Subject to change.

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