Iowa First Time Home Buyer Programs

Iowa First Time Home Buyer Programs

Are you thinking of buying your first home in Iowa? Would you like information on programs available in Iowa – some include a free gift of money – to help you purchase that first home? If you answered yes to these two questions, there is great news for you. The state of Iowa provides  several programs for its residents and need help with the down payment and closing costs. This money comes in the form of state, county and city grants and incentives. This is free grant money that shouldn’t be passed up! The program value and grant awards can be in the thousands of dollars. It will be well worth your time to educate yourself about the programs that the State of Iowa provides.

Iowa First Time Home Buyer Programs

The agency in Iowa that provides assistanceis the Iowa Finance Authority. There are several programs available, depending upon the program and your income. To find out which grant programs you may qualify for and how much is available with each, please visit the Iowa Finance Authority website page specifically describing all the home buyer programs.

FirstHome Program

The Iowa Finance Authority’s FirstHome program offers first-time home buyers state-sponsored, affordable, fixed rate mortgages and the convenience of working with a local lender.

FirstHome Plus Program

The Iowa Finance Authority’s FirstHome Plus grant provides cash assistance to help eligible borrowers with closing costs, down payment or minor repairs. The grant must be used in conjunction with the FirstHome program and the same income limits apply.

The contact information for the Iowa Finance Authority is:

Iowa Finance Authority
2015 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Phone: 515.725.4900
Toll-free: 800.432.7230
Fax: 515.725.4901
800.735.2942 (TTY)


Local Programs Throughout Iowa

In addition to the grant programs described above, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides home buyer assistance and programs in every state. There are multiple grant programs designed specifically for people that meet certain requirements, such as grants for people with disabilities so they can continue to live independently at home. It is worth visiting HUD’s website to see what assistance is currently available. For your convenience, simply go to this page.

Here is the contact information for the HUD office in Iowa:

Des Moines Field Office
210 Walnut Street
Room 239
Des Moines, IA 50309-2155
Phone: (515) 284-4512
Fax: (515) 284-4743

There are also these local programs in Iowa:

Algona Housing Assistance Program (515) 295-2411

“With the Algona Housing Assistance Program low and moderate income persons can receive up to $5,000 towards the down payment or closing costs of a single family residence. You don’t need to be a first time home buyer. You just need to be purchasing a single family residence in Algona and meet our income guidelines. With this program we can help you get that home!

The Algona Housing Assistance Program is designed to help low and moderate income persons purchase single family residences in Algona. This is done by providing grants towards down payments or towards closing costs of mortgage loans.”

Benton County Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (319) 472-2365

Council Bluffs Community Development & Housing Assistance (712) 328-4629

“The mission of the Community Development & Housing Assistance Division is to expand the choices available to the public in order to improve their quality of life.

We do this by:

Developing partnerships and coordinating efforts with agencies that provide human services, promote economic viability or enhance neighborhood stability;

Educating the public, city leadership and other agencies on the benefits of investing in individuals, properties and sound development; and

Managing and leveraging resources.”

Davenport United Neighbors, Inc. DREAM Home Buyer’s Program (DREAM) (319) 322-7363

“More than 1,350 individuals and families have purchased a home through our DREAM Homebuyers Program. More are doing so every week!

Participants in DREAM typically receive $1000 toward their down payment. You must meet HUD’s moderate income guidelines (e.g., less than $31,450/year for na single person household, and less than $44,950 for a 4-person houselhold.) Eventually, you must qualify for a loan from a bank or mortgage company.”

Des Moines New Construction Program (NCP) (515) 283-4512

Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency Homeownership Program (515) 237-1386

“The DMMHA provides rental assistance to qualified low/moderate-income individuals and families through the Public Housing and Section 8 Programs. Additionally, DMMHA administers a self-sufficiency and homeownership program for participants.”

Fort Dodge Homebuyers Assistance Program (HAP) (515) 576-8191

“Own Your Own Home! Eligible Section 8 Voucher holders may now use their vouchers to assist in the purchase of their own home through the Section 8 Homeownership Program. The voucher assistance provides a partial payment toward the mortgage every month. Participants are assisted with budgeting and credit repair as needed, provided with homeownership education, and given support every step of the way as they purchase their home. The Fort Dodge Housing Agency coordinates with lenders, realtors, other homeownership programs and other sources to provide additional opportunities for homeownership.”

Iowa City Affordable Dream Homeownership Program (319) 356-5400

“Low and very-low income families interested in purchasing a home under the ADHOP program must complete and submit the ADHOP application. Applications will be date and time recorded when they are received by Housing Authority. Selection of participants shall be made in order of receipt, subject to eligibility and preference criteria.

Are there any fees?

The family must be able to make a minimum down payment of $500. The selected family must make a payment of $250 in earnest money prior to the Housing Authority scheduling an appraisal. This earnest money is applied toward the down payment, if financing is approved, or refunded if financing is not obtained.

How do I find out more about Homeownership Programs?

For more information please contact:

Housing Authority Staff
410 E Washington Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52240”

Iowa Individual Development Account Gift Program (IDA) (515) 283-0940

Iowa State RHI Local Housing Assistance Program (LHAP) (319) 732-5555

Iowa Winterhaven Inc Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program (GIFT) (515) 327-1911

Multi-Counties Homeward, Inc. Home Buyer Program (ABP) (515) 825-3947

Northwood Housing Assistance Program Down Payment Assistance (DPA) (641) 324-1075

Oskaloosa Homebuyer Assistance (641) 673-9431

“The Oskaloosa Housing Department operates the Oskaloosa Housing Trust Fund. These programs offer different housing opportunities and solutions for residents of the city.


Community Housing Needs Assessments
Demolition Assistance
First Time Homebuyer Assistance”

Polk County Housing Trust Fund Gap Subsidize Program (GSP) (515) 282-6222

“The Polk County Housing Trust Fund is responsible for deploying community funds to increase availability of and access to affordable housing in Polk County. Monies are available on a competitive basis for a number of types of projects. On the list below find what resources might be available for your project and learn more about the application process.”

Sioux City Affordable Home Ownership Program (712) 279-6348

“The Housing Assistance Center is located on the first floor of City Hall in Room 107. The Housing Assistance Center staff consists of 6 housing analysts, one inspector, two administrative secretaries, and a manager.

Their primary responsibility is the administration of federal affordable housing programs funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD calls an agency that administers their rental assistance programs a Public Housing Authority (PHA).

The Housing Assistance Center functions as the Sioux City PHA. The core program offered to approximately 1200 families within Sioux City by the PHA is the Housing Choice Voucher Program.”

Wright County First Time Home Owners Program (FTHP) (515) 532-2771

“The purpose of this Program is to help Wright County families acquire single family residences by providing assistance in the form of low interest loans to match buyers’ contribution dollar for dollar to pay eligible closing costs, down payment, or costs of repairs which are necessary to obtain financing or mortgage insurance.”

About Jennifer Cribsly

I'm a former real estate broker who specialized in helping first time buyers be able to purchase a home. Now full time mom, part time real estate owner/investor.
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