Cuyahoga County Down Payment Assistance Program

By Design Login posted 11-20-2018 00:00



Eligible homebuyers can receive downpayment assistance in the amount of 17% of total transaction, with a maximum amount of $24,999. Total transaction calculates as purchase price plus 5% of purchase price for closing costs. Homebuyer will be responsible for a minimum of 3% of total transaction contribution towards the purchase. The assistance is provided in the form of a deferred mortgage loan, 50% forgiven after 5 or 10 years of occupancy, determined by amount of assistance provided, 50% due on sale or transfer of property.

The Cuyahoga County Down Payment Assistance Program is administered by Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. cuyahoga_1.gif

Vacant / Abandoned Forgivable Loan

The Vacant/Abandoned Forgivable Loan provides for the loan to convert into a grant for homebuyers that purchase a qualified property, as verified by the local community, in a community that we serve, and who live there for five (5) years.

Eligible Homes

  • Single family, owner-occupied
  • Existing houses or new construction
  • Property must be occupied by the seller, or vacant for at least 90 days before closing
  • Property must be inspected for code violations and for defective paint
  • Code violations and defective paint must be corrected before the buyer can take title or occupy the house"

Rate, broker fee, origination fee, and points of the first mortgage must not be excessive for the type of mortgage obtained by the buyer: Conventional, VA or FHA. No balloon payment or prepayment penalties are allowed.

Maximum Purchase Price Limit

Effective 06/01/2018, the U.S. Dept. of HUD adjusted the maximum purchase price limits for HOME assisted single-family houses. The limit for single family houses for the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor MSA is now $131,000.00.

Eligible Households

  • Homebuyers may not have owned a home in the past 3 years.
  • Homebuyers must occupy the dwelling as their primary residence.
  • Homebuyers total household income cannot exceed the stated income limits and they must be current on all taxes.
  • Loan to Value (LTV) of first mortgage may not exceed 80%.
  • Housing Debt to Income (DTI) ratio may not exceed 28%.
  • Overall DTI ratio may not exceed 43%.
  • Applicant’s liquid assets must not exceed $7,500 or 6 months PITI (plus MI and HOA), whichever is greater, after buyer contribution.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are under contract and/or have a purchase agreement in place before the dated certificate of completion you are not eligible for this program. For the Cuyahoga County Down Payment Assistance program, no internet-based home buyer education program can be used in place of in person counseling.

Income Guidelines


Application Process

  1. Homebuyer must contact NHS to register for Homebuyer Education Classes by calling 216-458-4663
  2. x 2325. Questions may be emailed to
  3. Homebuyer completes the NHS Homebuyer Education Classes, counseling, and receives their certificate prior to signing a purchase agreement. (Note: Each participant is evaluated on mortgage readiness)
  4. Upon receiving certificate, Homebuyer will receive the Down Payment Assistance application and eligibility requirements
  5. Homebuyer contacts eligible lender and receives pre-approval from lender.
  6. Homebuyer contacts real estate agent, identifies property, and signs purchase agreement (Note: It is suggested that you request 60 days for title transfer)
  7. Homebuyer submits application and all supporting documents (listed in DPA application) to NHS for review (Credit Report will be ordered at the expense of the Homebuyer)
  8. NHS will issue a conditional commitment based on household income, debts and purchase price, contingent upon receiving first mortgage lender documents to verify appraised value, LTV, and DTI. At which time if DTI or LTV exceed maximum limits the application will be denied.
  9. First mortgage lender submits required documents
  10. Final approval issued if all conditions have been satisfied
  11. Closing
  12. Downpayment Assistance funds wired to escrow agent

Applicants who are employees, spouses, contractors, and immediate family members of public agencies and non-profit institutions that are recipients of HOME funds will be asked to complete a form allowing NHS of Greater Cleveland to confirm with an applicant’s employer that their work does not create a conflict of interest.