Housing for Heroes
Achieving homeownership through down payment assistance.
Housing for Heroes is a downpayment assistance program established in 2022. Through the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation in partnership with the Atlanta Housing Authority, firefighters and EMTs can qualify for a one-time gift of up to $30,000.00 in down payment assistance for first time homebuyers to put toward down payment and/or closing costs. Funds will be administered directly to the closing attorney via wire transfer.
To be considered for funding for the year 2024, all applications must be submitted by the second week of December. The 2024 application funding period closes Friday, December 13, 2024. Applications will be received for 2024 until then. The application submission process will reopen for the year 2025 starting Monday, January 6, 2025.
Qualification Process and Requirements
Buying a home can be an exciting but tedious process. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation is here to help. We encourage all members of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department who are considering becoming a first time homeowner to begin your journey to homeownership with us. Schedule a 30 minute consultation today to learn how we can best assist your home buying experience through our assistance programs and partnerships.
Below please find the steps and eligibility requirements:
1. Identify property with maximum purchase price of $375,000.
2. Select lender from Atlanta Housing list of participating lender relationships. (See list of participating lenders)
3. Ensure compliance with criteria listed below.
For members to be eligible for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s down payment assistance grant, the following criteria must be met:
Specific Housing Requirements:
A. Applicants must be considered a first-time Homebuyer; OR Homebuyers who have not owned a home in the past three (3) years—i.e., homebuyers who have not had an ownership interest in residential or commercial property in the past three years.
(Applicants must not have purchased a home in the last three years.)
B. Properties purchased can be a single family detached (SFD), townhomes (TH), or a condominium (Condo); undeveloped land will not be eligible.
C. Property being purchased must be located within the Metro Atlanta geographical boundaries as defined by the Metro Regional Commission.
D. Applicant must meet the primary lender’s loan credit requirements and approval, from a participating lender, for conventional, FHA or VA loan financing.
E. The primary loan of the applicant must be a fixed rate loan and may have a loan term of 15 to 30 years.
F. Property purchased by applicant must be the homebuyer’s primary residence (2nd homes not permitted).
G. Applicant income(s) cannot exceed 80% of the current HUD’s MSA Area Median Income.
H. The Applicant’s contribution (own funds) for the purchase cannot be less than $1,500
I. Property must have maximum purchase price of $375,000.
J. The Applicant’s liquid assets cannot be more than $25,000.
K. Applicant must provide a Certificate of Completion of an eight (8)-hour Homebuyer Education class from a HUD-approved HBE provider, for all person(s) on the note, and must be completed prior to loan closing.
L. Applicant must provide verification of Georgia residency of not less than six (6) months.
Specific Professional Requirements:
M. Applications must include written confirmation the applicant is Good Standing with Office of Professional Standards, both at the time of application and at the time of closing
N. Applications must include written confirmation of the completion of the applicant’s sworn/firefighter probationary period.
O. A complete application, along with the supporting documentation must be submitted to AFRF no less than 30-days prior to a scheduled closing.
P. Applicants must remain employed with AFRD for a minimum of five years after assistance is granted.
Funding and Processing Time:
Q. Funds approved and/or awarded can only be used toward the borrower’s down payment and/or towards customary closing costs.
R. Applicants must have a fully executed purchase/sale agreement, lender loan approval, and all required documents to the AFRF not less than 30-days prior to a scheduled loan closing with the primary lender.
Please note: Successful completion of the Housing for Heroes application does not guarantee down payment assistance funding. Additionally, all funding is available on a first come first serve basis according to total available program funding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an applicant have to live in Atlanta to receive down payment assistance.
Answer: Yes, Applicants must be buying a home in the Metro Atlanta area as defined by the Atlanta Regional Commission. However, location of the property will effect available funding opportunities.
$5,000 in Funding: For properties being purchased that are not within the City of Atlanta, but still within the Metro Atlanta region, applicants only qualify for the $5,000 down payment grant from the Foundation.
Up to $30,000 in Funding: For properties being purchased that fall within the city of Atlanta jurisdiction, applicants may qualify for a $5,000 grant in addition to $25,000 in down payment assistance from the Atlanta Housing Authority.
At what stage in the home buying process should an applicant submit their application to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation for down payment assistance?
Answer: The sooner the better. Once a participating lender is selected, applicant should inform that lender from the onset that the applicant is attempting to qualify for the Foundation down payment assistance program in conjunction with the Atlanta Housing Authority. Please also understand that the application review process takes time. As a result, the applicant should expect a minimum of three weeks to receive approval of their application.