The City of St. Petersburg offers financial assistance to first-time homebuyers purchasing a new or existing single-family residential housing unit, condominium, townhome or cooperative apartment located within the City’s municipal boundaries. The buyer should be willing and able to meet the following conditions before applying for a loan to assist with buying a home:
- Contribute an amount equal to 1% of the sales price into the transaction including out-of-pocket expenses attributed to the transaction such as earnest money deposit, appraisal, credit report and property inspection
- Attend a first-time homebuyer educational training class provided by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and receive a certificate of completion for that class
- Purchase a modest housing unit with a sales price not exceeding $294,691
- Have the property inspected by a licensed home inspector to ensure compliance with the City’s Quality Housing Standards and have all deficiencies cured prior to closing
- Substantiate sufficient assets available to acquire the housing
- Demonstrate the ability to sustain homeownership with sufficient residual income to meet anticipated and unanticipated expenses
- Obtain a primary mortgage loan that is affordable over the term of the loan
- Apply for and be approved for homestead exemption after the property is purchased. For information regarding tax exemptions, visit the Pinellas County Property Appraiser site
- Maintain occupancy of the unit as a primary residence for the term of the Purchase Assistance subordinate mortgage loan or until the loan is paid, after which time the mortgage loan will be satisfied
To be eligible for Purchase Assistance, a homebuyer’s total annual household income, as defined by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), cannot exceed the maximum annual income limit as adjusted for the number of occupants, related or not, residing within the residence.
Annual income is calculated by adding all sources of income from all household members over the age of 18 currently living in the home or will occupy the home within one year. Income includes salaries, child support, alimony, social security, pensions, public assistance, income-producing assets or income from any other source.
Funding for those at 120% Family Median Income (FMI) is limited and available on a first come first served basis. For more information regarding Family Median Income (FMI) and to determine availability, call 727-893-7247.
For Homebuyers at or below 80% Family Median Income (FMI)
Purchase Assistance is provided in the form of a subordinate mortgage loan not to exceed $20,000 and shall be made available to eligible homebuyers whose total household income does not exceed 80% of the Family Median Income (FMI) as defined for by the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development for the St. Petersburg geographic area. The loan amount is determined by the property’s sales price and costs associated with closing the transaction.
- An amount equal to 10% of the purchase price shall be attributed to the down-payment. Reduction of the first mortgage loan amount to 90% loan-to-value (LTV) decreases the first mortgage loan payment and the Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) associated with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans and Private Mortgage Insurance premium (PMI) applied to Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) conventional loan programs.
- A maximum of $5,000 shall be provided to fund standard closing fees and service charges. Should the borrower’s required 1% contribution into the transaction be insufficient to pay all necessary prepaid items such as the appraisal, credit report, home inspection and/or hazard insurance premiums, the City will consider funding the cost of those items over and above the maximum. In no case shall the total assistance exceed $20,000.
- The total loan amount, for assistance in paying for down-payment and closing costs, is secured by a mortgage recorded in the public records of Pinellas County. The mortgage lien is subordinate to the first mortgage. 50% of the loan is amortized at 0% interest for a 10-year term (120 payments) and 50% of the loan is forgiven after 10 years at which time the mortgage is satisfied.
For Homebuyers up to 120% Family Median Income (FMI)
Purchase assistance available to homebuyers with total annual household income between 81% and 120% Family Median Income (FMI) is limited to a maximum of $10,000.
- The subordinate mortgage loan is payable monthly at 0% interest for a term of 10 years
- Assistance is provided for purchase of any property located within the city’s municipal boundaries
- The purchase price cannot exceed $294,691
- Funds within the 120% category are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis
- For funding availability please call 727-893-7247
To apply for the Purchase Assistance Program:
- Inform the first mortgage lender of the Purchase Assistance Program, its eligibility criteria and contact information. The City will accept an application package from any lender willing to participate in the City’s Purchase Assistance Program.
- Have all adult members of the household, 18 years of age or older, sign and complete the Purchase Assistance Program Application, found below.
- Have the lender complete the Tracking Sheet found below, and submit the application and all supporting documentation, as requested on the Tracking Sheet, to the City’s Housing and Community Development Department located in the Municipal Services Building. The package should be delivered via US mail, FedEx, UPS or by hand.
One 4th St. N., 9th Floor
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
- Upon receipt of the completed application, the City will begin the process of evaluating income eligibility according to the Code of Federal Regulations (24-CFR-Part5), www.hud.gov/program, the Florida State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program, www.flhousing.org, (Chapter 420, Part VII Florida Statutes and Rule Chapter 67-37 Florida Administrative Code) and the buyer’s financial stability and residual income sufficient to repay as defined by the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule” www.consumerfinance.gov.
Application & Documentation
Homebuyers receiving assistance through the City’s Purchase Assistance Program are required to attend and receive a certificate of completion for an 8-hour Homebuyer Education Class provided by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to customize a program specific to the needs of the homebuyer and to address the decision to select and purchase a home and to address issues that arise before, during and after homeownership is achieved including budgeting, financial planning, default, foreclosure, sale and other disposition of a home.
- Catholic Charities Housing Counseling
727-893-1313 Ext. 161
- Debt Management Services
(formerly known as Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling)
- Housing and Education Alliance, Inc.
- Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation
- St. Petersburg Neighborhood Home Solutions