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Housing Development Fund, Inc.

First-Time Homebuyers

HDF’s First-Time Homebuyers Program can help you get ready to buy your first home with our following services: FREE Mortgage Readiness Assessment, One-on-One Counseling, Financial Coaching Services, and Homebuyer Education Classes.* Our process will help you develop action steps to correct credit problems, increase your savings, reduce debt, and move towards homeownership.

Our First-time homebuyer counseling process begins with a 30-minute orientation session. Orientations are offered seven times a week in three locations (in both English and Spanish). At orientation, a counselor gathers the documentation needed to assess a client’s mortgage-readiness and provides an overview of the FTHB program, loan products, and what to expect along the route to homeownership. If you are a resident of Litchfield County, click here.

REQUIREMENTS: To be considered a “first-time homebuyer” and eligible for our program, you should not have owned a home at any time over the last 3 years. You must also be income-eligible and plan on purchasing in HDF’s service area – please check our Service Map for details.


HDF also offers a variety of downpayment assistance products to help low- and moderate-income households achieve first-time homeownership.

*A credit report fee of $17.25 for one person and $19.50 for a joint report is the only required fee.

8-Hour Homebuyer Education Classes

Some programs require applicants to attend an 8-hour in-depth class as part of their loan application. The 8-hour class is, however, open to anyone in the community interested in learning more about homeownership as long as they pre-register (see below). Whether you have already applied for a mortgage or are just beginning to consider your options, 8-hour homebuyer classes provides in-depth instruction on the steps towards homeownership to anyone interested in buying their first home.

Loan Programs For Homebuyers

HDF offers a variety of downpayment assistance products, in addition to our counseling services, to help low- and moderate-income households achieve first-time homeownership. Our products, eligibility requirements, and how to apply are outlined below and to the right.


SmartMove Homeownership Program

The SmartMove Homeownership fund enables homebuyers to purchase homes in Connecticut by providing downpayment assistance. For qualified borrowers, SmartMove provides low-interest (3%, APR = 3.42% to 4.74%) 20-year second mortgages of up to 20% of the purchase price. SmartMove borrowers do not have to pay for mortgage insurance and also benefit from lower mortgage payments. Borrowers can put down as little as 1% of the purchase price towards the purchase of their home. There is a $750-$2,500 service fee for SmartMove borrowers. This fee is not included in the loan amount and will be added to closing costs.

Live Where You Work (LWYW) Fund

Since 2006, HDF has received a tax-credit allocation from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) and has used this funding to establish the Live Where You Work Fund (formerly the Workforce Housing Down-Payment Assistance Fund). The LWYW Fund provides 30-year 0% interest loans (up to $20,000) for downpayment or fees to income-eligible clients that purchase properties in the town where they work.

Live Where You Work helps clients to live where they work, and in so doing assists new homeowners by freeing up income for housing and other monthly expenses by reducing monthly personal transportation costs.

As of January, 2013 HDF has provided loans through Live Where You Work to 201 families in 17 Connecticut communities.

Other Funding Available

From time-to-time, HDF receives funds from governmental agencies and other sources to administer as part of its First Time Homebuyers Program. These funding sources are available on a limited basis, and income and eligibility requirements apply. All buyers will need to complete the HDF homeownership counseling program requirements, which include orientation, one-on-one homeownership counseling and conform to HDF’s underwriting criteria. 8-hour CHFA Homebuyer Education classes offered by HDF may be required for some loan programs.