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Columbus/Franklin County Homeownership Programs

Columbus Housing Partnership (614) 221-8889
Homes on the hill (614) 275-4663

American Dream Downpayment Initiative Program

2013 Program Guidelines

The City of Columbus established the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) Program to assist low and moderate income households finance the acquisition of a first home in the City of Columbus, Columbus City Schools. This program may be used in conjunction with the Housing Development Program. Applicant and property criteria for participation in this program are outlined below.

The ADDI program is a five year deferred forgivable loan. The buyer(s) must reside in the property for five years after closing (the date they sign the City’s mortgage and restrictive covenant) or the funds must be repaid to the City. The property is unable to be sold, rented, or transferred during these five years and must remain as the sole residence of the buyer(s). After the five years, the mortgage and restrictive covenant are released on the property and the loan is forgiven.


To be eligible, the applicant must be a first time* homebuyer, meet income guidelines, receive homebuyer education from a Housing Division Certified Agency, and purchase a single family home or condominium in the City of Columbus, Columbus City School District. The funds for downpayment assistance are limited and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

*A first-time homebuyer is defined as an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home during the three-year period (thirty-six months) prior to the purchase of a home with ADDI assistance. A minimum of six (6) months residency in the State of Ohio and a permanent resident of the United States is required to be considered a first-time homebuyer. Columbus City employees working directly for the Department of Development are ineligible for loan assistance.

Households whose income is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), may qualify for up to six percent (6%) of the purchase price of the home, to a maximum loan of $5,000. All buyers must contribute $500 of their own funds toward the purchase of the home. This $500 may not be gifted or come from any other source other than the buyer themselves. Home inspection costs will be considered up to $250 based on approved criteria. Buyer must fall within 35% House Debt/Income ratio and 45% Total debt/Income ratio based on City income and debt calculations in order to qualify.

2013 HUD Income Guideline – 80% Area Median Income as of December 11, 2012










Yearly Income









NOTE: Total household income includes the income of all adults 18 years of age and older living in the home.
Application Process

The City of Columbus maintains a list of mortgage companies and banks that are certified to utilize the ADDI Program in conjunction with home mortgages. In order for the application to be processed the lender must be on this list. Lenders not on the list are welcome to contact the Housing Division to become certified; you will need to submit the attached ADDI Lender Participation Agreement after completing, signing, and notarizing to the Housing Division located at 50 W. Gay St, 3rd FL Attn: Tracey Davis.

The City of Columbus recommends that the buyer first find a home to purchase through a certified real estate agent and qualify for a mortgage loan. After the mortgage loan is approved, the lender should submit the completed ADDI package on the buyer’s behalf. Approval generally takes four to six (4 to 6) weeks from receipt of the completed application. After the lender and homebuyer receive the approval letter, for conventional loans only, closing may occur as early as 48 hours later. For FHA loans, the closing will take place approximately two (2) weeks after the commitment letter is sent to the homebuyer and the lender.

Homebuyer Education must be provided by a City certified homebuyer education entity which includes: counseling prior to the purchase of the property; assisting first-time homebuyers in identifying the most suitable and affordable properties; providing homebuyers with financial management assistance; assisting homebuyers in understanding mortgage transactions and home sales contracts; assisting homebuyers with eliminating any credit problems that may prevent them from purchasing property; and home maintenance training.

A certificate of completion of the Homebuyer Education program must be submitted to the City, the certificate expires after 1 year. Click here for a list of Homebuyer Education Agencies.

Homebuyers may be within the Tool Library Boundaries through Rebuilding Together Central Ohio. The Tool Library Program is designed to encourage low-cost home maintenance and improvements by lending tools and equipment free of charge to residents in designated service areas. This program provides over 200 different types of hand and power tools for home repair, maintenance, landscaping, and painting. To see if you are eligible, please contact Rebuilding Together Central Ohio at 614-258-6392 or visit their website.