First quarter sees big jump in homebuyer assistance programs

Help for buyers of manufactured housing sees particularly strong increase

The count of homebuyer assistance programs nationwide grew by 204 year over year during the first quarter of 2024, the largest annual jump in nearly four years.

That’s according to Down Payment Resource (DPR), which has been tracking the count of homebuyer assistance programs since the third quarter of 2020. The jump brings the total of assistance programs throughout the country to 2,373, with at least one program in every county. Some 2,000 counties have at least 10 programs available to their residents.

That spread is important because of the variance in what it takes to own a home throughout the U.S., according to DPR founder and CEO Rob Chrane.

“A lot of downpayment assistance goes untapped simply because buyers, lenders and agents are unaware it exists or have misconceptions about how it works and who can qualify,” Chrane said. “In reality, most DPA program providers calibrate eligibility requirements to area median income and local median housing prices, enabling them to support homeownership in both low and very high cost of living markets.”

The annual increase in program count represents a 9% jump in programs available to homeowners. On a quarterly basis, homebuyer assistance programs grew by 79, an increase of 3%.

Eighty-two of the 2,373 programs identified by DPA are currently funded, with 9% inactive and 6% temporarily suspended. Four percent have a wait list for funding. Sixty percent are for first-time buyers; 60% also allow repeat buyers to participate.

The uptick in programs was accompanied by growth in the number of agencies supporting them, which climbed from 1,238 in Q4 2023 to 1,273 in Q1 2024. DPR also noted a big jump in assistance programs for manufactured housing, which jumped from 703 programs in April last year to 856 this year, a 22% increase. Quarter over quarter, programs for manufactured housing were up 6%.

By assistance type, grant programs saw the largest quarterly increase, with 17 new additions in the first three months of 2024.


More Headlines