Learn how to start the process of buying a home and applying for down payment assistance.
Did you know that you can get up to $28,500 in down payment assistance from MDEAT and up to $120,000 from other down payment assistance programs in Miami-Dade County and/or from municipalities across the county? All of this helps to reduce your mortgage balance and payments.
Since 1995, HAP has provided down payment assistance funds to more than 7,900 families for a total of more than $45 million.
The HAP program partners with mortgage professionals, financial institutions, housing counseling and community-based agencies to create opportunities for prospective homebuyers. HAP funds can be combined with other Miami-Dade County, local municipalities, state agencies and certain approved programs designated for affordable housing.
How does HAP work?
HAP utilizes Documentary Stamps Surtax dollars received by the County to provide down payment or closing costs assistance via a zero percent interest, non-amortized (no payment), mortgage loan. The HAP loan may be forgiven without a refinance or any change in title or ownership.
Can I work with any lender or closing agent?
Borrowers may choose any licensed lender to provide mortgage financing in the State of Florida. Lenders who are familiar with Down Payment Assistance (DAP) programs from a variety of funding sources are recommended. Approved first mortgage financing must be obtained prior to your lender applying for HAP funds on your behalf. A HAP Participation Lender List is on our website. To receive HAP funds, the closing agent must be a Miami-Dade County Finance Department-approved vendor.
Does my realtor have to be HAP approved in order to apply for HAP funds?
HAP does not require that your realtor also be HAP approved or certified. However, it is highly recommended that you select a realtor that expresses familiarity, experience and comfort in working with down payment assistance programs.
What’s the first step to getting started?
If you're ready to start the home-buying process and apply for HAP funds, the first step is to attend a voluntary Homebuyer Education Course by a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency. The course helps prepare you for the home-buying process and the financial responsibility of homeownership. It is also helpful to know your FICO or Experian credit score in addition to being pre-qualified or pre-approved by a Mortgage Lender or Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) licensed to provide mortgage financing. Housing Counseling Agencies (HCAs) can help by pulling your credit, providing financial literacy and preparing you for mortgage readiness. There are several locations to choose from.
Do I have to be low income to use HAP funds?
HAP funds are not just for lower income buyers. You can be moderate to middle income and still be eligible. Eligibility is based on having an annual household income that doesn’t exceed 140 percent of area median income in Miami-Dade County based on your family size. Income limits are available on this chart.
What is the benefit of using HAP funds?
HAP funds can be used to reduce down-payment or closing costs, making it easier for prospective homeowners to quality for a mortgage.
Can I use other down payment assistance programs in addition to using HAP?
Yes. HAP funds may be combined with other County, state, local municipalities, federal, and certain approved assistance programs designated for affordable housing in certain instances. However, combining down payment assistance programs can significantly extend approval timelines.
I've owned a home before. Can I still participate?
Yes, you may still be able to participate if you are seeking a primary residence in Miami-Dade County, have obtained first mortgage lender approval and can provide needed evidence verifying your household income not exceeding 140 percent AMI.
Can I use HAP funds to buy any property?
HAP funds can be used to buy any new or existing single-family, townhouse, or condo property in Miami- Dade County. It must be an owner-occupied property that serves as your primary residence. Investment properties and multi-family units are not eligible. Foreclosed REOs and short sales are considered on a case-by-case basis.
What’s the maximum purchase price with HAP funds?
There is no MDEAT-HAP maximum purchase price limit. Purchases are subject only to loan qualifications of lenders licensed to provide mortgage financing as to the loan amount. However, many lenders or other DAP programs may have purchase price or mortgage limitations.
Does HAP provide rental or foreclosure assistance? No, HAP does not have or provide rental or foreclosure assistance. However, various County resources are available such as: