HPAP, or the Home Purchase Assistance Program, is for DC residents who are first time buyers, purchasing their home in DC and seeking assistance with down payment and closing costs. The down payment assistance loan can range from $70,000-$202,000, and the closing cost assistance is up to $4,000, for a total amount of assistance of $74,000-$206,000.

The minimum cash contribution for a buyer when using HPAP funds is either $500 or half of their savings above $3,000.

The HPAP loan is deferred and repaid without interest.  For households with income below 80% of area median income (see chart below), there are no monthly payments on the HPAP assistance loan.  For households with income above 80% of area median income, there are no payments for the first five years, and then the funds are repaid over a forty year period with no interest. The remaining sum is due in full upon moving out or selling.  Therefore if you plan to move out of the property and convert it to a rental, this program may not be a good fit.

The income limits for the program vary by household size, and is found below here:

HPAP is Gap Financing

The HPAP program funds are meant to be gap financing, to make a housing payment that would otherwise not be affordable, affordable.  The program guidelines require that if the proposed housing payment is less than 28% of your gross monthly income, that your HPAP loan be reduced.  This is because there is a limited amount of funds allocated to HPAP annually and if a first time buyer’s proposed housing payment is less than 28% of their income, HPAP’s opinion would be that others need access to the assistance more.

For instance, if you make $50,000 a year then that’s $4,166/mo.  Your housing payment must be at minimum 28% of that, $1166/mo.  If the proposed loan for a property you are purchasing has a payment less than that with the HPAP assistance, the amount of HPAP assistance is reduced so that the payment is at least $1166.66.

HPAP allows you to spend maximally 40% of your income on your housing payment and maximally 45% of your income on the totality of all of your debts combined.  In rare and special circumstances with compensating factors they’ll allow you to exceed the 40/45% caps and go up to 45/50%.


DC government employees may also be eligible for EAHP, or the employer assistance housing program. This provides for an additional $5,000 grant towards closing costs and a $20,000 repayable loan as well. First responders are eligible for an additional $10,000 in a forgivable loan, plus an additional amount of matched grant funds, up to $15,000 instead of $5,000. Purchasers utilizing EAHP do not have to be first time buyers, but must never have owned real estate in DC previously.  (Whereas HPAP’s rule is that you cannot have owned real estate within the past 3 years).  Most people who are eligible for EAHP combine EAHP with HPAP assistance, if they are also eligible for HPAP.  The maximum sales price for getting EAHP by itself without HPAP money is $1,089,300.

Below are instructions on how to pursue a notice of eligibility for HPAP & EAHP.  But in addition to that, you’ll also need a mortgage pre-qualification, and to start that you may pre-qualify through this link:

How to pursue your notice of eligibility for HPAP & EAHP:

  1. The borrower must apply through a community based organization and here is the list of all organizations you can work with: https://dhcd.dc.gov/node/702332.   I have the most experience with HCS (https://www.housingetc.org), ULS, and LEDC
  2. The borrower first attends a 2hr orientation session.  They then submit their documentation to the community organization and wait for a “notice of eligibility.”  Processing time for this varies, is probably at 1-2 months (currently).  One of the docs required for the notice of eligibility is the credit report.  If I have a credit report for a borrower, I can with permission send this to the community organization, or the organization can pull it for you.
  3. In addition to awaiting the notice of eligibility the borrower also needs to attend a first time buyer class.  This is online and is an 8 hour class.  If you’re going through the process with HCS, there is also homework to complete and submit, and only thereafter will you receive an 8 hour home buying class certificate.
  4. Once the borrower has both the notice of eligibility and the counseling certificate, they are pre-approved to use HPAP financing.  Separately the borrower needs a mortgage pre-approval (from me! 🙂 ).
  5. The borrower once they obtain both the mortgage letter and HPAP notice of eligibility & 8 hour class cert, the borrower then shops for a property.  When it comes to writing an offer, closings with HPAP typically take 45-60 days.
  6. When submitting the offer, the HPAP addendum must be signed by the parties — please request this document from me.  It must be included in the contract.
  7. There is a required home inspection as well, with a form filled out by the inspector.  If the inspector requires anything be fixed, they will need to re-inspect post-repair.  We will need both the completed home inspection report and the required form signed by inspector and borrower; here is a link to the required form: http://www.dchfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/hpap-inspection-authorization-fillable.pdf
  8. Make sure to complete a pest inspection and send that to me as well.  HPAP requires this on all properties, unless it’s a condo or co-op  on the 4th floor or higher.

Here is what an applicant will provide for the HPAP pre-approval “notice of eligibility” through one of these organizations: https://dhcd.dc.gov/node/702332 

Two most recent pay stubs for all applicants (ALL JOBS)
Last 60 days bank statements for ALL ACCOUNTS
Most recent 2-Years tax returns for all adults
Most recent 2-Years W-2s for all adults
Credit report
Signed Rental Verification Form (Form is provided by counselor)
Rental lease
Driver’s license or identification card for all applicants
Birth certificates for all dependents (IF APPLICABLE)
Written explanation of any credit problems (IF APPLICABLE)