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Downpayment assistance program

The Community Services Department Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) can financially help you purchase your dream house in Harris County if you are income-eligible and a first-time homebuyer.

Harris County Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP) Guidelines:

  • Until further notice, the amount of Harris County’s down payment assistance for new and pre-existing homes is up to $23,800.00. The maximum purchase price for a pre-existing home is $200,000.00. The maximum purchase price for a new home is $228,000.00.
  • Effective May 25, 2018, the pre-existing homes must be built post 1978. With the rising cost of homes in Harris County, the implementation of this change will allow more homebuyers to meet the required 39% front-end-ratio and 42% back-end-ratio. A homebuyer that needs an amount over $14,999 to meet the front and back-end-ratio will incur an increase in their affordability period from (5) years to ten (10) years.
  • Effective May 25, 2018, the following will be included in the homebuyer’s closing cost
    • 3-Year Home Warranty on all pre-existing homes – Maximum of $500.00 per year
    • One (1) Year Flood Insurance Policy – Maximum Policy $500.00
  • The home you buy must be in an unincorporated area of Harris County, which includes these zip codes and service area, and cannot be located in the City of Houston, Baytown, or Pasadena, since these cities have their own programs
  • To begin the DAP process, all applicants must take a homebuyer certificate program in person from a HUD-approved homebuyer education course provider.
  • To participate in this program, you must live in the new house or the pre-owned house for a minimum of five years, depending on the amount of the award
  • Buyer must have at least $500 or 1/2 of lenders downpayment, as required toward the purchase price to invest in the house
  • Buyer cannot have more than $15,000 in liquid assets, such as stocks, cash, or bonds
  • Buyer must have at least one credit score of 580
  • Buyer’s debt front end ratio cannot exceed 39%, and DTI cannot exceed 42% (effective August 25, 2014)
  • Buyer must be credit and program approved through one of the listed participating mortgage lenders and Harris County to receive downpayment assistance
  • In order to qualify for downpayment assistance, you must be a first-time homebuyer, or not have owned a house for three years before applying for assistance, and be income qualified by the chart below
  • Buyer is required to have a final signed household budget from their approved Homeownership Education Providers
  • Borrower, Co-Borrower and/or Non-Participating Spouse are required to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien

The total family gross income cannot exceed the following:

Number of Family Members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Max annual income* $44,150 $50,450 $56,750 $63,050 $68,100 $73,150 $78,200 $83,250

* Your income is not totally determined by your paycheck. It is also determined by the use of your checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts at a rate of .06%, plus any other forms of income you might receive, such as child support, reoccurring gifts, etc.