The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) is pleased that you are interested in the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program (HCVHP). Please be advised that this is an optional program for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders. Housing Choice Voucher holders are not mandated nor are they required to participate in this program. Furthermore, all Housing Choice Voucher holders may not qualify or be deemed eligible to participate in the program.
The Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program is a federally funded, locally administered homeownership assistance program that helps families, the elderly and persons with disabilities afford to purchase decent, safe housing in the private market.
Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program Qualifications
- Must remain eligible to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Must be a first-time Home buyer
- Must have one year of continuous full-time (no less than 30hrs per week) employment in current position.
- Must meet Minimum Income Requirement
- No outstanding debts owed to HABC
- No Housing Quality Standard (HQS) violations within the last year
- No lease violations within the last 3 years
- See FAQ for additional requirements
To receive assistance, the Homeownership Office must review and approve the:
- Loan Product
- Participant's Affordability
- Property Selection
- Sales Contract
- HQS and Private Home Inspection Report
- Must attend homeownership counseling
- Must received housing counseling certificates from a HUD approved housing counseling agencies (general workshop & one-on-one)
- Must complete homeownership purchase within 120 days. An additional 60 days may be granted for finalizing loan or grant approval
- Must obtain a mortgage from a lender
- Property must be a single family home
- Property must pass a home inspection, termite test, lead test and Housing Quality Standard (HQS )inspection
- Must contribute 3% toward the purchase (1% must be from personal funds)
- Property purchased must be buyer's primary residence
- Property must be within Baltimore City limits
Required Homeownership Courses include but are not limited to:
- Home Maintenance
- Budgeting & Money Management
- Housing & Community Search
- Benefits of Mix-Income Communities
- Negotiating Purchase Price
- Mortgage Programs/Products (Pros & Cons)
- RESPA & Predatory Lending
Homeownership Program Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program?
The Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program is a federally funded, locally administered homeownership assistance program that helps low families, the elderly and persons with disabilities purchase decent, safe housing in the private market.
- Who can receive Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership assistance?
The program assists participants of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) and recipients of the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Voucher (VASH). In addition, families must meet the following criteria:
- Be a first-time home buyer or cooperative member
- Demonstrate at least one year of continuous full-time employment (minimum of 30 hours a week).
- Meet minimal income requirements - No Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Violations in the past year
- No leasing violations in the last 3 years
- Cannot owe money to HABC
- Has not defaulted on a mortgage debt incurred to purchase a property while participating in any public housing authority (PHA), or HCV Homeownership Program.
- Additional public housing authority eligibility requirements may apply
- Must complete housing counseling
- Must obtain a mortgage from a Financial Institution
- Must contribute a minimal of 3% of sales price (1% from personal funds) toward the purchase.
- How does the program work?
First, the family must submit a preliminary interest application along with supporting documentation. If the family is eligible to participate in the program, the family will be invited to a Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Orientation. The family will be required to attend homeownership counseling and obtain a mortgage from a financial institution. The family selects a real estate agent to assist in locating a property to purchase. The property must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS), Home Inspection, lead test, and termite test. The family will be responsible for paying the difference between the actual monthly mortgage payment charged by the lender and the amount subsidized by the program.
- How long can a family receive assistance under this program?
For all other families, there is a term of 15 years if the initial mortgage incurred to finance purchase of the home has a term that is 20 years or longer, and for all other cases the term of homeownership assistance is 10 years. There is no time limit for the elderly or person with a disability.
*Employment requirement: One or more adults in the family who will own the home must have one year of continuous full time (no less than 30hrs per week) employment in current position.
** Except in the case of a person with a disability, the qualified annual income of the adult family members who will own the home must not be less than the Federal minimum hourly wage multiplied by 2,000 hours. Also, the qualified annual income of the adult family members who will own the home must not be less than the monthly Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit for an individual living alone multiplied by 12.
HABC maintains the right to establish a higher minimum income requirement for either or both types of families. Except in the case of the elderly or persons with disabilities, welfare assistance is not counted in determining whether the family meets the minimum income requirement.