Illinois home buyers can receive up to $12,500 in assistance on purchase

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has launched a new, limited-time grant to help home buyers across Illinois afford their closing costs.

Through the new IHDA Advantage Subsidy program, IHDA will give eligible home buyers an outright grant of either $1,500 or $2,500, depending on household income, to pay for closing costs associated with their home purchase. The grant can be layered with IHDA’s current Down Payment Assistance programs, allowing home buyers to receive anywhere from $8,500 to $12,500 in assistance when purchasing a home.

“Across Illinois, homes sales have been on the decline for the past 12 months and the Illinois Housing Development Authority is seeking to end that by making homeownership more accessible and affordable for credit-worthy households,” said Tara Pavlik, managing director of IHDA’s Homeownership Programs. “This additional $2,500 grant will provide home buyers with the closing costs necessary to achieve the American Dream of owning a home.”

As rents and home prices continue to rise and student loans make it difficult to save, potential home buyers consistently point to an inability to afford the down payment as their primary obstacle to home ownership. Expanding opportunities for home ownership is vital to the health of Illinois’ overall economy. In FY2018, IHDA was able to help 5,500 people buy a home through two DPA programs:

1stHome Mortgage: Financed through the federal Hardest Hit Fund Program, 1stHomeIllinois provides first-time home buyers (veterans excluded) in four targeted counties $7,500 in down payment assistance. Down Payment Assistance loans are in the form of a 5-year, forgivable 2nd mortgage, and are given in conjunction with an IHDA 1st mortgage loan product. The assistance incentivizes home buying in distressed areas across Cook, Marion, St. Clair and Winnebago counties, which helps to stabilize housing markets and prevent future foreclosures.

Access Mortgage: Launched in 2018, the IHDA Access Mortgage program is available to both first-time and repeat home buyers. Available statewide, each mortgage option comes with an affordable, fixed interest rate and up to $10,000 to assist eligible borrowers with their down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a new or existing home. The unique program offers three tiers of assistance depending on the needs of the home buyer:

IHDAccess Forgivable – Assistance is limited to 4 percent of the purchase price up to $6,000. The 2nd mortgage shall be forgiven on a monthly basis over a 10-year forgiveness period.

IHDAccess Deferred – Assistance is limited to 5 percent of the purchase price up to $7,500. The full principal balance of $7,500, less any optional payments, is due upon the sooner of the maturity date or repayment of the 1st mortgage.

IHDAccess Repayable – Assistance is limited to 10 percent of the purchase price up to $10,000. The full principal balance shall be repaid monthly over a 10-year term at 0 percent interest.

Household eligibility for the new grant is based on income. Home buyers earning less than 50 percent of the area median income are eligible for an additional $2,500 under the IHDA Advantage Subsidy program, while those earning less than 80 percent of the area median income are eligible for $1,500. Borrowers must meet all eligibility requirements established for IHDA’s DPA programs, and home buyer education is required. The program is not exclusive to first-time buyers and may be used by buyers in any county in the state.

Interested home owners can find additional information and a list of the nearest participating lenders at:


  1. Wendy Ishmael on August 15, 2019 at 5:23 am

    I would like more information i am wanting to try and buy a home instead of renting since it costs about as much to rent as it is to buy but this us my first time buying a home

    • Editor on August 15, 2019 at 6:54 am

      The phone number for additional information is 877-456-2656. Good luck!

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