For many aspiring homeowners, saving up for a down payment is the biggest hurdle to purchasing a home. The District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) works to provide affordable housing solutions and provide homeownership opportunities for residents of Washington, D.C. DCHFA created DC4ME to provide District government employees with the necessary mortgage and down payment assistance to become homeowners in the city where they work.
DC4ME is offered to current full-time D.C. government employees, including employees of District government-based instrumentalities, independent agencies, D.C. public charter schools and organizations, provided the borrower’s employer falls under the oversight of the Council of the District of Columbia. The inclusion of all District government employees sets DC4ME apart and will allow for more homeowners.
Many people who work in, and in this case for, the District government, cannot afford to live in the city. They have often been priced out of their city and forced to move to the suburbs and surrounding cities in Maryland and Virginia. More than 36,000 people work for the D.C. government, and it is DCHFA’s goal to make sure that any of them who want to live in this city have the means to do so.
“Homeownership is the foundation to wealth building. DCHFA is committed to making the dream of homeownership attainable to D.C.’s workforce, and that includes government employees,” said Christopher E. Donald, Executive Director/CEO, DCHFA. “Many of these workers fall into what we call the Missing Middle, and it is our job to make sure that they are not forgotten and continuously priced out of the city they give back to daily.”
The DC4ME program helped Folashade Oladipo, an employee of the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, achieve her goal of homeownership sooner than she thought possible. “DC4ME made it possible for me to purchase my dream home on a budget!” said Oladipo. “Most my best memories happened in D.C., and I look forward to making more awesome memories while giving back to a city that has given me so much.”
Eligible applicants receive a first trust mortgage at a reduced interest rate. The rate comes with or without the option of three percent down payment assistance with a zero prevent deferred subordinate loan.
An eligible applicant is someone who is a first-time homebuyer; a current full-time District government employee; has a maximum income less than 120 percent of the area median income; has a minimum 640 credit score; and has a debt-to-income ratio that does not exceed 50 percent.
Borrowers can combine DC4ME with various other financial assistance programs to make sure they are getting the best deal possible. DCHFA has another down payment assistance program, DC Open Doors, that is open to first-time and repeat homebuyers. DC4ME can be combined with DC Open Doors, as well as programs like the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) and the Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP).
Aspiring homeowners can find more information on DC4ME at www.dchfa.org/homeownership.