Ohio Low Income Home Loans & Programs

(Last Updated On: January 1, 2019)

If you want to buy a house with low income in Ohio, there is help available to you! There are many programs that will assist you with tax reductions, down payment assistance and so much more!

Get more help buying a house with low income here!

Since there are several different types of assistance for low income home buyers in Ohio, we’ve tried to organize this list by type as much as possible.

You could qualify for a special mortgage program!

Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) provides special 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages for low and moderate income buyers. These loans can include special options, such as Grants for Grads,

These loans have income and price limits that vary by county. To qualify, you must have a 640 or higher credit score.

Grants for Grads provides discounted mortgage interest rates and down payment assistance for recent college graduates. The program includes a free homebuyer education course.

The down payment assistance will amount to 2.5 percent or 5 percent of the home’s purchase price. As long as you live in the state of Ohio for five years, the down payment assistance loan will be completely forgiven. If you sell your home and move out of state before those five years are complete, however, you will have to repay some or all of the loan.

You may qualify for this program if you have not owned a home in the last three years, meet income and purchase price limits and minimum credit score requirements. The website indicates that the minimum credit score for a conventional, USDA, VA or FHA 203(k) loan is 640.

Mortgage Tax Credit can lower your tax bill by up to $2,000 per year, although the amount cannot exceed your federal income tax liability. This program can help certain buyers qualify for their home loans. It can also be coupled with down payment assistance of up to 5% of the home’s purchase price!

Next Home provides down payment assistance to those who are not first-time home buyers. These 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages feature 2.5 percent or 5 percent of the home’s value in down payment assistance.

OHFA Advantage can provide down payment assistance worth up to two percent of the home’s purchase price – and this can be added  to the 2.5 percent or 5 percent assistance from the Your Choice program below!

Income limits do apply and this program can only be used with conventional loans. You should also note that interest rates will be slightly higher if you opt to combine both programs, so your monthly payment may be higher if you do this.

Ohio Heroes provides a discounted mortgage rate to qualifying buyers. To qualify, you must meet certain income and purchase price limits. You also must be employed in one of the following fields:

  • Military (active or reserve), including surviving spouses and veterans
  • Police officers
  • Firefighters (including volunteer firefighters)
  • EMTs
  • Paramedics
  • Physicians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nurses (RN or LPN)
  • STNAs
  • Teachers (K12)
  • School administrators (K12)
  • School counselors (K12)

If you qualify, you can also choose to include a down payment assistance option in your Ohio Heroes loan.

RenovateOhio provides a FHA 203(k) loan that enables low and moderate income families to purchase and repair a home at the same time. These loans are for the estimated value of the property after all the repairs have been completed.

Target Area loan products are available in areas where the housing market is especially challenged. These loans feature competitive interest rates and other benefits. To qualify, you must purchase a home in a designated Target Area and meet other criteria.

Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance allows you to receive assistance in an amount of up to 2.5% or 5% of the home’s purchase price. The funds can be used toward down payments, closing costs or other pre-closing expenses. The amount is forgiven after seven years, as long as you’re still living in the house. If you sell or refinance, you’ll need to repay the assistance provided.

You could get down payment assistance in Ohio!

Communities First is a statewide program. This program provdies a down payment grant that does not have to be repaid. The amount is equal to 2, 3, 4 or 5 percent of the purchase price of your home. Unlike other programs, there is no minimum occupancy requirement so you can move whenever you want without worrying about paying a penalty.

Local agencies offer even more help for Ohio home buyers!

Depending on the county you live in, you can get special assistance. Many of these programs work with and in addition to any statewide programs you might be interested in using while you’re buying your first home!

Butler County

Butler County residents, as well as residents of Hamilton or Middletown, can receive up to $5,000 in down payment funds from the Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton Inc. Income limits and other qualifications apply.

Clark County

Springfield is home to Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield, which provides homebuyer eduation, credit counseling, financial fitness assessments and down payment assessments to homebuyers in the Springfield area. You could receive up to $5,000 from this program!

Cuyahoga County

Cleveland offers a complicated Afford-A-Home program that cannot be applied for directly. Instead, low income homebuyers must find a developer or general contractor who can apply for these funds on their behalf.

Cleveland’s Neighborhood Housing Services also provides homebuyer classes, homebuyer counseling and other services. They also provide down payment assistance programs for buyers in Cuyahoga County.

Cuyahoga County has many programs for low income home buyers! They offer a low interest restoration program for buyers who are interested in one of Cuyahoga County’s older, well-built homes. They also offer special programs for homeowners who need to make repairs, improvements or correct lead paint issues. Thanks to the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Cuyahuga County also has special grants and loan programs available for homes in 50 specific suburbs around the county.

Franklin County

Columbus is home to Homeport, a service that helps all Central Ohioans. They provide a homebuyer education program, home readiness workshop, financial fitness program and more. They also provide credit counseling and coordinate down payment programs.

Franklin County provides up to $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. The amount is awarded in a loan that is forgiven after five or six years of home ownership.

Homes on the Hill is an affordable home program for low and moderate income families in southwestern Franklin County. The homes are either new or rehabilitated.

Homeport might be able to help you finance your home. You can learn more about homeownership, what it takes to get a mortgage and how to find the best rates in Columbus. The program might be able to connect people with down payment assistance programs and mortgage rate assistance.

Hamilton County

Cincinnati has an American Dream Downpayment Initiative that provides up to $5,000 to low income buyers who purchase a single family home in the city of Cincinnati. The $5,000 is awarded as a loan that is forgiven after you live in the home for five years.

The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati offers financial fitness programs and homebuyer education and more.

Lucas County

Toledo provides assistance to first time home buyers. You can get funds to assist with your down payment and closing costs!

The NHS of Toledo offers information if you’re a first time home buyer in Ohio. You can learn about homeownership and programs available in the area. The NHS of Toledo may even be able to connect you with USDA or FHA lenders.

Montgomery County

Kettering offers down payment assistance up to $8,000. The money is awarded as a 0% deferred second mortgage, meaning that it does not accrue interest and does not have to be paid unless you sell the home, refinance or move out within five years.

Montgomery County has several programs, also. County Corp offers several down payment assistance programs. There are programs available for buyers purchasing a home in the City of Dayton or elsewhere in Montgomery County. Contact the Homeownership Center for more information.

Stark County

Canton offers up to $5,000 in down payment assistance for qualifying low income and moderate income home buyers. The assistance is in the form of a deferred loan that is forgiven after five years.

Massillon provides down payment assistance to low income homebuyers. To qualify, the home must be located in the City of Massillon and the purchase price cannot exceed $123,000. You’ll also need to meet specific income limits.

Summit County

Akron offers an Urban Development plan. Many new homes in the area are priced under $90,000, but these homes are made to sell. Most have, at least, 3 bedrooms with garages.


Serious about buying a house? Don’t miss these other resources!


  1. Linda Hansen
    April 4, 2019
    • Riley Thomson
      April 5, 2019

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