Courtesy of DCHFA

This month, the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its flagship homeownership program DC Open Doors. DC Open Doors makes homeownership in Washington, D.C. affordable by offering qualified buyers home purchase loans, down payment and closing cost assistance. 

DCHFA’s Single Family Programs division has a commitment to developing and administering innovative programs that grant all District residents the opportunity to become homeowners. Launched in 2013, DC Open Doors offers deferred repayable loans for a homebuyer’s minimum down payment requirement in addition to below-market interest rates for first trust mortgages for the purchase of a home in the District of Columbia. Qualified first-time and repeat homebuyers are eligible for the program. 

Program Eligibility & Requirements:

  • Open to both first-time and repeat homebuyers
  • Open to all neighborhoods and wards
  • Open to both residents and non-residents of DC
  • Minimum credit score of 640
  • Maximum income of $199,200 (borrower NOT household)
  • Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 50%
  • Maximum First Trust Loan: $726,200 

Borrowers do not have to be first-time homebuyers to use the program; but cannot own another home at the time of closing on their DC Open Doors purchased home.  D.C. residency is not a requirement, so long as the home you’re purchasing is in the District of Columbia. Borrowers can also combine DC Open Doors with other programs, like the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), which DCHFA is a co-administrator of for the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. Throughout Fiscal Year 2022-2023, DCHFA was able to help more than 500 residents become homebuyers with the help of its homeownership programs. 

The Agency remains committed to launching new programs that increase access to homeownership. DC4ME is another resource aspiring homebuyers can use if they work for the D.C. government. Applicants must be a current full-time District government employee, including employees of District government-based Instrumentalities, independent agencies, D.C. Public Charter Schools, and organizations, provided the applicant/borrower’s employer falls under the oversight of the Council of the District of Columbia.

DCHFA hosts monthly homebuying seminars where people beginning their homeownership journey can come learn about all of these programs that are available to provide financial assistance. At these monthly seminars hosted on the first Wednesday of each month, attendees also get to hear from a local lender and real estate agent who can walk them through the process, cover topics like credit repair, and let them know why it is never too early to start preparing for a home purchase. Learn more at

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