Oregon first-time homebuyer programs in 2021 and 2022

Oregon first-time homebuyer programs in 2021 and 2022

To receive down payment assistance in Oregon, you’ll have to see if there’s a local organization that offers loans or grants in your area.

Oregon Housing and Community Services issues funds to local organizations for loans and grants.
Oregon has a state homebuyer program specifically for military veterans.
You may need to meet certain income limit requirements to be eligible for some of the programs.
Read Insider’s comprehensive guide to purchasing your first home.

First-time homebuyers struggling to navigate the homebuying process in Oregon may want to get help from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OCHS) or the Oregon Department of Veterans (ODVA)

These state agencies offer financial assistance and resources that might make a difference in purchasing your first home.

Below, we explain various programs and the requirements needed to apply, so you can determine if one is right for you.

OHCS down payment assistance

If you need help paying for your mortgage, OHCS has a down payment assistance program that provides funds for loans and grants of up to $15,000. 

The program is unique from other states because it doesn’t directly offer down payment assistance. Instead, it awards money to local organizations throughout the state. 

The following organizations offer loans and grants that you should consider: 

ACCESS: You may be able to apply for down payment assistance if you’re a first-time homebuyer of low-to-moderate income in Jackson or Josephine County. Note that you’ll have to attend a homebuyer’s education course before applying and go to a counseling session.African American Alliance for Homeownership: Pre-purchase counseling and financial assistance are available to first-time homebuyers in Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington County. Income determines possible eligibility for services provided.Community Connection of Northeast Oregon: You might be eligible for a down payment assistance loan if you’re a first-time homebuyer in Harney or Malheur County who meets the income limits.Community in Action: First-time homebuyers in Malheur County are eligible for down payment assistance in the form of a grant if they meet the income limits. DevNW: You may receive a 0% interest loan to help pay your mortgage if you’re a first-time homebuyer in Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Linn, Lincoln, Marion, or Polk counties.Hacienda Community Development: Pre-purchase counseling and financial assistance are available to first-time homebuyers in Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington County. You can also start a lending circle (commonly known as a tanda), which lets you borrow money from other participants without interest.Native American Youth and Family Center: The NAYA Homeownership Program was created to help address the Native American homeownership gap by helping Native American families through the homebuying process.NeighborWorks Umpqua: You might be able to apply for a grant if you’re a military veteran who is a first-time homebuyer in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Klamath, or Lake County.Open Door HousingWorks: Pre-purchase counseling and financial assistance are available to first-time homebuyers in Washington County.Portland Housing Center: The organization offers loans and grants, but you’ll need to speak with a Portland Housing Center HomeBuying Specialist to see if you’re suitable for one of their programs.Proud Ground: First-time homebuyers in Multnomah or Washington County might receive a grant if they meet the eligibility requirements.

OCHS Oregon Loan Residential Program

The Oregon Bond Residential Loan Program helps Oregon first-time homebuyers get a mortgage with a competitive interest rate. The program offers two types of loans: a Cash Advantage loan and a Rate Advantage Loan.

With the Cash Advantage loan, you’ll apply for a loan through an approved lender and get 3% of your mortgage in cash. The Cash Advantage fund can go towards all mortgages except FHA mortgages.

The Rate Advantage loan offers a more competitive interest rate than the Cash Advantage loan. It doesn’t offer any financial aid, though.

To be eligible for the Cash Advantage loan or Rate Advantage loan, you’ll need to meet the following requirements: 

Your home is less than the purchase price limit for your county (see if the home you plan to purchase is in a target or non-target area)You must have an income that is below the Oregon maximum household income limit for your county (see if the home you plan to purchase is in a target or non-target area)

Note: Target areas are specific zones in counties that are determined by the federal government. If you’re buying a home in a target area, the first-time homebuyer requirement is waived.

To see if your potential new home is in a target area, review this chart by Oregon Housing and Community Services or use this tool by the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council.

How to determine if your home meets the purchase price limit for your county

Below you’ll find the purchase price limit for non-target areas and target areas as of April 8, 2020, according to the OHCS.

CountyNon-Target AreasTarget AreasBenton$357,417$436,843Clackamas$436,049$532,948ClatsopN/A$374,436Columbia$436,049$532,948Deschutes$382,947N/AHood River$423,794N/AJackson$296,145$361,956Marion$304,315$371,940Multnomah$436,049$532,948Polk$304,315$371,940Washington$436,049N/AYamhill$436,049N/AOther Counties$294,600$360,067

How to determine if your income is below the Oregon maximum household income limit

Below you’ll see the household income requirements to be eligible for all non-target area counties as of July 10, 2020, according to OHCS.

County Maximum total income for 2 people or lessMaximum total income for 3 people or moreBenton$84,885$97,618Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah$104,904$120,639Curry$77,700$89,355Deschutes$91,920$106,933Douglas$77,700$89,355Gilliam$77,700$89,355Grant$77,700$89,355Hood River$86,040$100,380Jackson$77,700$89,355Lane$77,700$89,355Lincoln$77,700$89,355Linn$77,700$89,355Marion & Polk$77,700$89,355Morrow$77,700$89,355Sherman$77,700$89,355Tillamook$77,700$89,355Umatilla$77,700$89,355Wasco$77,700$89,355Washington$104,904$120,639Yamhill$104,904$120,639

Below you’ll see the household income requirements to be eligible for all target area counties as of July 10, 2020, according to Oregon Housing and Community Services.

County Maximum total income for 2 people or lessMaximum total income for 3 people or moreBaker$93,240$108,780Benton$97,200$113,400Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah$110,530$128,940Clatsop$93,240$108,780Coos$93,240$108,780Crook$93,240$108,780Curry$93,240$108,780Douglas$93,240$108,780Harney$93,240$108,780Jackson$93,240$108,780Jefferson$93,240$108,780Josephine$93,240$108,780Klamath$93,240$108,780Lake$93,240$108,780Lane$93,240$108,780Linn$93,240$108,780Malheur$93,240$108,780Marion & Polk $93,240$108,780Umatilla$93,240$108,780Union$93,240$108,780Wallwa$93,240$108,780Wheeler$93,240$108,780

How to apply for the Oregon Bond Residential Program

Once you’ve determined that you are likely eligible for the Oregon Bond Residential Program, apply for a loan through a select lender. Use this tool to contact a loan officer in a nearby county.

If English isn’t your native language, some loan officers speak other languages, such as Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Hmong, or American Sign Language.

ODVA Home Loan Program

The ODVA Home Loan Program is open to veterans who plan to purchase a home, condo, or townhome in Oregon. The program offers 15-year, 20-year, and 30-year conventional loans.

This might be a good option if you’re able to lock in a low interest rate with a select lender that’s better than what you would get with a VA loan. You also don’t need to be a first-time homebuyer or meet an income requirement to be a part of the program.

To be eligible for this program, you’ll need to meet one of the following requirements: 

You served in the US Armed Forces for more than 90 days before January 31, 1955You served in the US Armed Forces for more than 178 days after January 31, 1955You served in the US Armed Forces for less than 178 days OR at least one day in a combat zone and were discharged under honorable conditionsYou earned a medal or notable distinction for your service

When you apply for the ODVA Home Loan Program, you’ll need to provide service records, including your DD214. 

Apply here to see if you’re eligible for the program.

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