Ron DeSantis Launches Housing Program to Help First Responders, Educators, Military, Veterans, Healthcare Workers

This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the June 1 launch of the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to help Floridians in over 50 critical professions purchase their first home.

The Hometown Heroes Housing Program will be available to Floridians including law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans. Including this $100 million program, the governor also announced his intent to support the total of nearly $363 million appropriated for affordable and workforce housing in the 2022-2023 budget, the highest total in 15 years.

The program is administered by the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) and has the highest and most inclusive eligibility of all Florida Housing down payment assistance programs. The program is geared to expanding on Florida’s existing housing programs to reach critical workers and those who have served our country. Find more about the program here.

“In Florida, we value the contributions of our police, firefighters, teachers, and nurses,” said DeSantis. “Our hometown heroes are the backbone of Florida communities and making sure that they can afford to be homeowners is a great way to give back to them and support the future of the American Dream.”

“Florida Housing is extremely grateful to those who have remained committed to serving their communities, especially during these challenging financial times,” said Trey Price, the executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “Hometown Heroes will provide the financial assistance necessary to help these hardworking individuals finally achieve the American Dream of homeownership, and we look forward to the positive impacts this accomplishment will have on so many Florida families.”

“DEO is proud to stand beside Governor DeSantis as he prioritizes our state’s vital workers, including our first responders, nurses, and teachers,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Sec. Dane Eagle. “These men and women are heroes who ensure our communities’ crucial needs are met, and we are grateful to take part in this initiative to show our gratitude.”

“Florida’s booming real estate market has begun to price out our hometown heroes from living in the communities in which they serve,” said state Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Palm Harbor. “That is why I filed this bill, to help our hometown heroes accomplish the American dream of owning a home. These workers are incredibly courageous and, throughout the pandemic, they have kept us safe, cared for our families and educated our children. I think it’s extremely important to give them the assistance to purchase a home given the sacrifices they make every day.”

Florida Housing received $100 million from the state Legislature this year to establish and administer the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program. This program will aid essential community workers in 50 different eligible professions with down payment and closing cost assistance to help first-time, income-qualified homebuyers purchase a primary residence in the communities they serve. Funds will be available to reserve starting June 1, which coincides with National Homeownership Month. This occasion celebrates the value that owning a home brings to families, communities, and neighborhoods across America.

To qualify for this program, homebuyers must connect with a participating loan officer, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, and meet the income threshold for their county. Eligible borrowers will receive up to 5 percent of the first mortgage loan amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0 percent, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.

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