Leon

Escambia County Housing Finance Authority (ECHFA)

The Escambia County Housing Finance Authority was created in 1980 by the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners to help alleviate a shortage of affordable housing. The Authority is a special district in the State of Florida under Florida Statues, Chapter 159, Part IV.

The Program

This program is designed to make purchasing a home more affordable for low and moderate income homebuyers by providing homebuyers with affordable interest rate mortgage loans and down payment and closing cost assistance. Mortgage loans in this program are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can download the County brochure for the Single Family (Governmental) Program of Freddie Mac HFA Advantage (Conventional) Program under "Available Downloads." 

Visit this website for information about the program.

The Mortgage

The homebuyer may choose between a VA-guaranteed, FHA-insured, or USDA-RD 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Single Family (Governmental) Program Option 30-year fixed rate.  See Today's Interest Rates.

Lenders may charge a Discount or Origination Fee or any combination of the two with the total not exceeding 1.00% of the loan amount. The first mortgage is exempt from documentary stamps tax.  The second mortgages are exempt from documentary stamps tax and intangible tax. 

 

Freddie Mac HFA Advantage (Conventional) Program Option 30-year fixed rate.  See Today's Interest Rates.

Lenders may charge an Origination Fee not exceeding 1.00% of the principal loan amount. The first mortgage is exempt from documentary stamps tax.  The second mortgage is exempt from documentary stamps tax and intangible tax.

Down Payment Assistance

The Authority offers down payment assistance (DPA) in all participating counties. DPA may provide up to 100% of the homebuyers cash to close as long as there is no cash back to borrower.

Classic DPA Program offers a 0% Non-Amortizing 30-Year Deferred Second Mortgage.  The Authority presently provides up to $7,500 Down Payment Assistance Loans that can only be used with a Governmental Classic Program First Mortgage type.  The Second Mortgage is not forgivable and becomes due when first mortgage is satisfied or upon sale, transfer or disposition of property.

Forgivable DPA Program offers a 10-Year Forgivable, 0% Non-Amortizing Second Mortgage Loan.  Depending upon availability, the DPA Loan may be offered in the amount of 3%, 4%, or 5% of the First Mortgage Loan amount.  The DPA Loan is fully forgiven on the anniversary date of the loan closing in the 10th year.  However, the full amount of the DPA Second Mortgage becomes due when first mortgage is satisfied or upon sale, transfer or disposition of property.

Who Qualifies?

1. Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers. A first-time homebuyers is someone who has not had an ownership in a principal residence during the past three years. Some exceptions apply.
2. Qualified Veterans or homebuyers purchasing a property in a designated targeted area do not need to be first time homebuyers.
3. Borrowers must meet normal mortgage requirements to demonstrate credit worthiness. Borrowers must have a minimum 640 credit score to participate.
4. Borrowers must occupy the purchased home as their principal residence.
5. In connection with and Freddie Mac HFA (Conventional) Loan, a Homeownership Education Certificate is required for at least one qualified borrower.  The Certificate must be provided prior to closing, click for a link for an option for the recommended homebuyer education course.
6. Household income may not exceed the following limits within Leon County.

Maximum Income Limits

Single Family (Governmental) Program Option
Family of 1-2: $76,400 (Non-Target Areas) - $91,680 (Target Areas)
Family of 3 or more: $87,860 (Non-Target Areas) - $106,960 (Target Areas)

Freddie Mac HFA Advantage (Conventional) Program Option
Family of 1 or more: $60,720

What Homes Qualify?

The single family home may be attached or detached, a condominium, townhouse/townhome or PUD. Homes must be located within one of the counties listed on the front of this brochure. The total purchase price of a home within Leon County may not exceed the following limits: 

Maximum Purchase Price:

New & Existing Homes: $311,980 (Non-Target Areas) - $381,308 (Target Areas)

How To Apply?

1. Contact: To learn how to qualify and apply for a loan, and to obtain Participating Lender's contact info, please call us at (800) 388-1970 or Contact Us.
2. Apply: Contact the Participating Lender to apply for a loan.

Questions?

If you have questions please contact ECHFA at 800-388-1970 or 850-432-7077.