County approves increases to first-time homebuyers program

Burlington County has made changes to its first-time homebuyers program to provide more assistance for income-eligible individuals and families looking to purchase their first homes.

The county commissioners voted to raise the assistance available for down payment, closing costs and interest-rate reduction from a maximum of $9,000 per buyer to $25,000.

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Under the approved changes, $15,000 is now available for down-payment assistance, up from $5,000, and a maximum of $10,000 is available for closing costs and interest reduction, up from $4,000.

The board also approved changing program rules to permit the county to forgive all loans awarded through the program if the recipient resides in the purchased home for 10 years.

Both changes are intended to make the program more responsive to current market conditions, the needs of county residents and the hardships low- and moderate-income families face when trying to purchase a first home.

State Sen. Troy Singleton praised the change, saying it would help more families build wealth through homeownership. He recently championed a new law that provides downpayment assistance to certain first-time homebuyers statewide.

“Owning a home is a key component to creating generational wealth, but for many, it becomes out of reach because of the market prices and high interest rates,” Singleton said.

The homebuyer program is federally funded and run by the Housing and Community Development Division of the county Department of Human Services. It provides first-time home buyers with no-interest, forgivable loans for down payments and closing costs or interest rate reduction.

Eligibility is limited to individuals and families seeking to purchase a home in the county who earn no more than 80% of the median family income, which ranges from $62,500 for a single and $89,250 for a family of four, up to $117,850 for a family of eight.

Loans for both the downpayment and closing costs/interest reduction will be forgiven after 10 years but must immediately be repaid if the recipient sells before then or ceases to reside at a property. This is a change to the program, which previously required all down-payment loans to be repaid whenever the home is sold, regardless of how long the buyer lived there. Loans for closing costs were previously forgivable after six years.

Other program requirements remain, including a rule requiring participating buyers to invest a minimum of 3% of the purchase price out of their own funds toward the downpayment. The county also requires program applicants to complete an online, first-time homebuyer training course.

Residents seeking an application or more information about the homebuyers program should contact the Division of Housing and Community Development at (609) 265-5450 or visit

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