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DeSantis: Hometown Heroes Has Given Out $100M

The gov. says the initial version of the pro-housing, Florida Realtors-backed program has helped 6,753 families. And on July 1, an expanded version will get another $100M.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Hometown Heroes program has provided $100 million in down payment and closing cost assistance to help Florida’s “hometown heroes.”

The money went to front-line “heroes” – veterans, active-duty military members, nurses, teachers, law enforcement officers and more – buy a home in the communities where they serve. Since the program launched in June 2022, the program has helped 6,753 hometown heroes buy a house where they can raise their families.

“Through the Hometown Heroes housing program, we are ensuring that our police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses, and military members and veterans can afford to buy homes in the communities that they have dedicated their lives to serving,” says DeSantis.

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) oversees the program.

“By providing more hardworking Floridians with a place to call home, we are helping to facilitate healthier family environments, build stronger communities, and improve local economic impact,” says Mike DiNapoli, executive director of Florida Housing.

While the program has expended its initial $100 million, however, the 2023 Florida Legislature expanded the program and added an additional $100 million, which becomes active on July 1, 2023. The “Live Local Act” passed during the 2023 session made some changes to the state’s Hometown Hero Program, including an expansion of eligibility requirements and the maximum loan amount offered.

After the July 1 start, the Hometown Heroes program will receive $100 million for the 2023-2024 fiscal year to continue assisting Florida families in purchasing their first home. The maximum down payment assistance amount will increase to $35,000, or up to 5% of the first mortgage loan amount.

To get started, homebuyers must connect with one of Florida Housing’s participating loan officers, have a minimum credit score of 640, be a first-time homebuyer, and earn less than 150% of their area’s median income, according to their local county data.

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