Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership

Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati



HELP grant funds are available to match savings accumulated by first-time homebuyers for down payment and/or closing costs. These grant funds are distributed to eligible members by matching the household's down payment contribution at up to a 4:1 match, not to exceed $6,000 per homebuyer.

Use of Funds

HELP funds may be used in conjunction with a member own matching-fund down payment/closing cost assistance program, at a match ratio of 3:1. If the member contributes at least $350 toward the cost of the required homebuyer counseling program, or in other financial incentives in connection with mortgage financing, the Bank will match the funds at a 4:1 ratio.

Funds may also be used to match homebuyer savings if used in conjunction with an Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) program that establishes a homeownership savings program.

Member institutions may apply for a maximum of $50,000, with individual buyers receiving no more than $6.000 each. Additionally, homebuyers must contribute at least $1,000 of their own savings toward the required down payment. Funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. HELP funds may be used for the purchase or construction of a single-family home. However, they may not be used in conjunction with any approved AHP grant.

Program Requirements

First-time homebuyers with a family income of 80 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) are eligible for HELP funds. Homebuyers must have completed a homebuyer counseling program.

Qualifying homebuyers must establish a savings account with the applying member. Members must qualify homebuyers for participation in the HELP program within 12 months of being awarded the grant funds. Homebuyers have 24 months thereafter to accumulate their savings and utilize the funds, or up to five years if funds are used in conjunction with an AFIA program.

If a member originates the mortgage, the member must provide financial incentives in connection with the mortgage for each property. A member contribution of at least $350 toward the required homebuyer education course qualifies as a financial incentive.

For a complete listing of current median income levels, visit the Community Investment section of the Bank website at www.fhlbcin.com.

The Bank's Community Investment Department provides creative ideas, assistance, and applications for Housing & Economic Development Programs.

To learn more about these programs, contact the Community Investment Department at 888-345-2246 or visit www.fhlbcin.com.

Community Investment Department
221 East 4th Street
1000 Atrium Two
Cinncinati, Ohio 45202