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

  • Participated in the Housing Choice Voucher Program for over 1 year
  • Must remain eligible to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Must be a first-time Home buyer
  • Must have over a year of continuous full-time employment (no less than 30 hours a week)
  • 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 Coordinator must review and approve the:

  • Loan Product
  • Participant's Affordability
  • Property Selection
  • Sales Contract
  • HQS and Private Home Inspection Report

Homeownership Requirements

  • Must attend homeownership counseling
  • Must receive a homeownership certificate from a HUD approved housing counseling agency.
  • Must ratify a sales contract within 120 days and must settle within 180 days
  • Must obtain a mortgage from a lender
  • Property must be a single family home
  • Must pass both a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and Private Home Inspection
  • Must contribute 3% toward the purchase (1% must be from personal funds)
  • Property purchased must be buyer's primary residence

Required Homeownership Courses include but are not limited to:

  • Home Maintenance
  • Budgeting & Money Management
  • Credit
  • 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. In addition, families must meet the following criteria:

  • Participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program for at least a year.
  • 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 homeownership 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 both a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and a Home Inspection. 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?

There is no time limit for the elderly or person with a disability. For all other families, there is a mandatory term limit 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 maximum term of homeownership assistance is 10 years.

*Employment requirement: One or more adults in the family who will own the home must be currently employed on a full-time basis for at least one year before commencement of homeownership assistance.

** 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.