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MFA Increases Limits for Down Payment Assistance Programs

 

ALBUQUERQUE,NM—To offer more down payment assistance to low-and-moderate-income homebuyers, the New Mexico Mortgage finance Authority (MFA) recently revised its FirstDown, down payment assistance program, to offer qualified homebuyers up to four percent of a home’s purchase price in assistance.

“As home prices and interest rates continue to rise, offering more down payment assistance helps more New Mexicans reach their homeownership goals,” said MFA Executive Director/CEO Isidoro Hernandez. “During this ongoing housing crisis, we’re always looking for new ways to help families achieve the dream of homeownership.”

The change to the FirstDown down payment assistance program enables qualified buyers to receive more funding as a percentage of the homes purchase, up from a maximum of $8,000, that helps to cover the down payment or closing costs for a home. When combined with additional funds managed by MFA, such as the HomeNow program, qualified homebuyers could also receive additional funding.

“Our down payment assistance programs are all structured to help support families where the down payment and closing costs are barriers to homeownership,” said MFA Director of Homeownership Rene Acuña. “These programs have already helped thousands of New Mexicans become homeowners, and this change helps address a market that has continued to change rapidly over the past two years.”

The updated program would also allow for additional assistance if funding is obtained outside of MFA such as through local municipalities or housing authorities.

The down payment assistance program is a loan that functions as a second mortgage, but typically amounts to a small monthly payment that is paid in addition to the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment. To qualify, homebuyers need to meet eligibility requirements for each program and then work with an MFA-approved lender.

The amount for MFA’s maximum down payment assistance has not been updated since 2005, because it met the needs of most homebuyers prior to the recent rapid increase in home prices and interest rates.

In 2021, MFA programs served more than 25,000 households and provided $757 million in assistance. Of that $757 million, MFA provided $527 million in affordable-rate mortgage loans and $20 million in down payment assistance to help 2,900 households become homeowners.

For more information about MFA’s down payment assistance programs, visit: housingnm.org/homebuyers/down-payment-assistance.

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