Down Payment Resource (DPR) released its Q4 2023 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) report. During a year when home affordability hit a nearly four-decade low, housing agencies introduced 135 homebuyer assistance programs and expanded eligible inventory to make homeownership more accessible.
“As the housing market grappled with historic affordability challenges in 2023, our HPI report reveals a critical response: the introduction of 135 innovative homebuyer assistance programs — a six-percent increase over the previous year. This surge in programs, which now totals 2,294 nationwide, represents a concerted effort by housing agencies to expand opportunities and break down barriers to homeownership,” said Rob Chrane, Founder and CEO of DPR. “With a significant increase in programs for manufactured homes, multi-family properties, and specific buyer demographics like service members and Native Americans, this year’s report underscores a growing commitment to diversify housing solutions and empower a broader spectrum of aspiring homeowners.”
Key HPI Report Findings
An examination of the existing 2,294 homebuyer assistance programs on January 8, 2024, resulted in the following key findings:
804 programs allow for the purchase of a manufactured home, up 20% from the previous year. Housing agencies are expanding program eligibility to include more property types. Manufactured housing has a lower entry point than other types of homes and is helping many buyers get their foot in the door. DPR expects to see the number of programs that allow for manufactured housing continue to grow.
686 programs allow for the purchase of a multi-family property, up 8% from the previous year. Using DPA to purchase a multi-family property has become increasingly popular. This allows people to become homebuyers as well as investors — a strategy that has been called “house hacking” in recent years. In addition to completing a homebuyer education class, borrowers purchasing a multi-family home with homebuyer assistance typically have to go through classes on being a landlord to ensure long-term sustainability.
448 programs are funded by state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs), up 2% from the previous year. Programs from state HFAs account for 20% of all programs.
86 programs are offered through Florida’s State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP), up 12 programs from Q4 2022. Florida Housing’s SHIP program funds are distributed on an entitlement basis to all 67 counties and 55 Community Development Block Grant entitlement cities in Florida. SHIP dollars may be used to fund emergency repairs, new construction, rehabilitation, down payment and closing cost assistance, impact fees, construction and gap financing, mortgage buy-downs, acquisition of property for affordable housing, matching dollars for federal housing grants and programs, and homeownership counseling.
922 programs are available through municipalities, up 5% from the previous year. There has been steady growth in programs from municipalities, especially states with high home prices like California, where many homebuyers struggle with affordability.
475 DPA programs are available through nonprofits, up 15% from the previous year.
194 programs are “incentive” programs, meaning they target a segment of homebuyers by profession or ethnicity. In Q4 2023, there was a 47% increase in programs YoY for service members and Veterans and a 13% increase in programs targeting Native American homebuyers.
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