Washington, D.C., First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

Jan 1, 2021

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Washington, D.C., is an expensive place to live, making homeownership feel out of reach for many first-time buyers. The District of Columbia’s Housing Finance Agency, or DCHFA, offers several programs designed to help.

First-time home buyers in Washington, D.C., may also benefit from the relaxed qualification requirements that some national loan programs offer. Explore all the options for buying your first home in America’s capital city.

National first-time home buyer programs

These mortgage products typically have low down payment or credit score requirements, and are offered by most lenders.

DCHFA highlights and eligibility requirements

Through its various assistance programs, DCHFA can help first-time home buyers become homeowners sooner and with fewer upfront costs.


  • Open to first-time borrowers and, in some cases, repeat home buyers, as well.

  • Down payment and closing cost assistance available.

  • Federal tax credits available.

  • Condos and cooperative units may also be eligible.


  • Borrower’s income and debts must be within program limits.

  • Borrower must have an acceptable credit score.

  • Loan amount limits may apply.

DCHFA first-time home buyer programs

Summary: 2021 DCHFA first-time home buyer programs

  • D.C. Open Doors program for low rates and down payment assistance.

  • Home Purchase Assistance program for help with a down payment and closing costs.

  • Mortgage credit certificate for an annual tax credit of up to 20% of paid interest.

Now that you have a better idea of the first-time home buyer programs available in Washington, D.C., it’s time to think about next steps. Start by reading the full details of these assistance programs on the DCHFA website.

You can also reach out to a DCHFA participating lender to find out if you meet program eligibility requirements, and to get more information about how to submit a full mortgage application.

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