Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program

Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program

Governor Ron DeSantis announced the June 1 launch of the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program. The program makes homeownership affordable for eligible frontline community workers in over 50+ professions such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans.

This program provides eligible borrowers down payment and closing cost assistance up to 5% of their total loan amount (maximum of $25,000) to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers so they can purchase a primary residence in the community in which they work and serve. The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program also offers a lower first mortgage rate and additional special benefits to those who have served and continue to serve their country.

Hometown Heroes


Florida Housing offers two three mortgage government loan programs and a two conventional loan programs to eligible participants in the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program.

The Florida First Heroes (FL First) (GOVT – FHA, VA, USDA-RD) for TBA offers eligible borrowers a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. Borrowers who qualify for this mortgage program will automatically qualify for down payment assistance.

The HFA Preferred Heroes for TBA (CONV – Fannie Mae Offering) offers eligible borrowers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. This first mortgage also offers borrowers a reduced Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premium for borrowers below 80% AMI. Standard PMI applies to borrowers above 80% AMI. Borrowers who qualify for this mortgage program will automatically qualify for down payment assistance.

The FL HFA Advantage Heroes for TBA (CONV – Freddie Mac Offering) offers eligible borrowers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Reduced cost PMI is not available with this product. Reduced cost PMI applies to borrowers below 80% AMI. Borrowers who qualify for this mortgage program will automatically qualify for down payment assistance.

Florida Hometown Heroes Second Mortgage

As mentioned, homebuyers who qualify for the Florida Hometown Heroes TBA First Mortgage loans are eligible to receive down payment and closing cost assistance in a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year, repayable second mortgage. This second mortgage is to 5% of their total loan amount with a maximum of $25,000.

Please note that this second mortgage is non-forgivable and the borrower will be required to repay the outstanding mortgage balance in full if :

  • Transfer of Deed/ Property is sold
  • Full payment or satisfaction of the 1st mortgage
  • Refinancing of the 1st mortgage
  • No longer occupy the property as a primary residence


Below is a list of some the occupations that are eligible under this program, for a complete list or to see if you are eligible please contact me in the form below.

  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Certified Correction Officers
  • Correctional Probation Officers
  • Juvenile Detention Officers
  • Juvenile Probation Officers
  • Firefighters
  • Certified Paramedics
  • Certified Emergency Medical Technicians
  • 911 Public Safety Communicator
  • Classroom Teachers
  • Career Specialists
  • Librarians
  • School Counselor
  • Social Workers
  • School Psychologists
  • Registered Childcare Operator/ Childcare Instructor
  • Nurses- RN, LPN, ARPN, CNA
  • Health Care Practitioners- Physician, Physician Assistant, Anesthesiologist
  • Opticians
  • Massage Therapist
  • Psychologists
  • Veterinarian/ Veterinarian Assistant or Technician
  • Active Military personnel and Veterans
  • Speech Language Pathologist or Audiologist (and assistants)
  • Dieticians/ Nutritionists
  • Dentists/ Dental Hygienist/ Dental Assistant
  • Chiropractic/ Acupuncturist
  • Pharmacists

Program Eligibility Requirements

An applicant must satisfy requirements in order to eligible for the program. Here are a few of the requirements-

  • First Time Homebuyer Requirement- Borrowers must not have had an ownership interest in their primary residence within the last three years (Ownership interest is defined as having appeared on deed) Veterans and active-duty military personnel are exempt from the First Time Homebuyer Requirement. (A Veteran is defined as "anyone who has served in the active military, naval, or air service and was dismissed or released under terms other than dishonorable." This veteran's exception applies to all of FL Housing's programs)
    • Credit Requirements- If you're applying for the FL Hometown Heroes First Mortgage Loan For TBA (FHA, VA, and USDA-RD), you need a minimum FICO score of 640 for regular homes and 680 for manufactured housing. On the other hand, if you're applying for an HFA Preferred loan for TBA (Fannie Mae) or an HFA Advantage loan for TBA (Freddie Mac), you must have a FICO score of 640 or higher depending on your mortgage provider and a score of 680 for manufactured housing.
    • DTI Requirements (Debt to Income)- Here is an overview of the maximum DTI-ratios for each of the mortgage products:

USDA - DTI of 45%

FHA - DTI of 45% with 640 to 679 FICO score and DTI of 50% with 680+ FICO

VA - DTI of 45% with 640 to 679 FICO score and DTI of 50% with 680+ FICO

HFA Preferred (Fannie Mae) - DTI of 45% with 640 to 679 FICO score and DTI of 50% with 680+ FICO

HFA Advantage (Freddie Mac) - DTI of 45% with 640 to 679 FICO score and DTI of 50% with 680+ FICO

  • Homebuyer Education Requirement- First-Time Homebuyers must complete a Program-approved, in-person or online, PRE-PURCHASE, homebuyer education course. The Homebuyer Education course must satisfy standards defined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. 
  • Property Requirements-  Some of the property types that a borrower can purchase using these loans include:
    • Attached or Detached 1-unit dwellings (Includes townhomes)
    • 2 - 4 unit property (Borrower(s) must occupy one of the units as their primary residence)
    • Condos
  • Income Limit Requirements- The Hometown Hero Housing Program will be accessible to first-time homebuyers with incomes of no more than 150% of the county's median income when the loan is given.

Not eligible for the Hometown Heroes program? There are many other programs available with closing cost assistance that you may be able to qualify for.

For more information on this program and other programs, please contact Angela Huffine 850-225-0228 or fill out the form below and I will get back with you within 24 hours.

Information in this blog was obtained from Florida Realtors and Florida Housing Finance Corporation

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