Wisconsin First Time Home Buyer Programs

Wisconsin First Time Home Buyer Programs

Are you contemplating the purchase of your first home in Wisconsin? Would you like a free gift of money to help you purchase that first home? Unfortunately, the state of Wisconsin does not currently provide free grant money for its residents who are first time home buyers and need help with the down payment and closing costs as some other states do. However, there is still Federal Grant money available as well as grants from private foundations. This is free money that shouldn’t be passed up! The grant awards can be in the thousands of dollars. It will be well worth your time to educate yourself about the grant programs that are available to residents of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) was created in 1972 by the Wisconsin Legislature as an independent authority, not a state agency. As a lender, WHEDA has over $3 billion in assets.

WHEDA works closely with lenders, developers, local government, nonprofits, community groups and others to implement its low-cost financing programs. They provide low-cost, fixed interest rate mortgages to low- and moderate-income individuals and families to purchase their first home. They also work with developers to finance affordable rental housing, and support economic development and agriculture through their small business guarantee programs.

Down payment assistance is a great resource to help home buyers get into a home sooner. Check out the unique down payment options with the WHEDA Advantage. Also see your local home buyer counseling agency to learn about other grant options that may be available. Remember, many down payment assistance grants are only available for a limited time.

Here is the contact information for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA):

201 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 700
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-266-7884
Fax: 608-267-1099
Toll Free: 1-800-334-6873


Various Local Grants Throughout Wisconsin

In addition to the grant programs described above, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides home buyer assistance and grants 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 here.

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

Milwaukee Field Office
310 West Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 1380
Milwaukee, WI 53203-2289
Phone: (414) 297-3214
Fax: (414) 935-6775

There are also these local programs:

Beaver Dam MSA Professional Services Housing Rehabilitation Program (HRP) (920) 887-4600

“Columbia County recently received notice of a Community Development Block Grant for Housing Rehabilitation. The funds will be loaned at 0% interest to eligible households for home repairs for residents of Columbia County EXCEPT residents that reside within the City of Portage. Those residents should contact the City of Portage for an application.”

Clark County Down Payment and Closing Cost Loan (DPCC) (715) 267-7356

“First-time homebuyers purchasing a home either through the Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) program or purchasing an existing market rate home can borrow up to 10% of the sales price or $25,000, whichever is less, at 5% interest. This loan (used for the down payment and closing costs) is in the form of a second trust, payable over a 30 year period with the first three years of payments deferred and interest free.

Funding is limited and available on a first-come / first-served basis. Applicants must currently live and/or work in Loudoun County for a minimum of six months. Gross annual household incomes must fall within 30% to 70% of the Area Median Income. The current eligible income range is $32,250 through $75,250 regardless of family size. For additional eligibility requirements, terms and conditions, please refer to the Program Information located here.

If you wish to apply for this program, please proceed to the online application.  Please note: you will need the information on the DPCC Checklist to complete the application. ”

Dodge County MSA Professional Services Home Purchaser Program (HPP) (800) 552-6330

Douglas County Home Ownership Opportunity Program (HOOP) (715) 635-2197

Home Ownership Opportunity Program (HOOP)
Provides down payment and closing cost assistance for purchasing an existing single-family dwelling in Superior or Douglas County. Home buyers must meet income, eligibility, and affordability guidelines. Dwellings must meet (or be repaired to meet) program standards. Assistance is provided in the form of a 0%, deferred payment mortgage loan. There is no monthly payment. The loan is due upon sale or transfer of the property. Home buyers must obtain first mortgage purchase financing from a local participating lender.

For information contact:

Bonnie Carlson
Northwest Regional Planning Commission
1400 S River St
Spooner, WI 54801
715-635-2197 (phone)”

Eau Claire Down payment Closing Cost Assistance Program (DCCAP) (715) 839-4943

Green Bay NHS Inc Down payment Assistance/Closing Cost Assistance Program (920) 448-3075

Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program
NeighborWorks® Green Bay offers down payment and closing cost assistance to homebuyers who qualify and are purchasing a home in our lending area – in one of Green Bay’s Original Neighborhoods. We have several programs that can help you reach the American Dream!

To qualify for the assistance, NeighborWorks® Green Bay requires the following:

  • The home must be purchased in Green Bay’s Original Neighborhoods (see map).
  • The mortgage loan cannot exceed 1.5% over the FFIEC’s rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage.
  • The buyer must contribute a minimum of $1,000 of his/her own funds toward the purchase of the home.
  • The buyer must complete NeighborWorks® Green Bay Homebuyer Education. A program fee and all recording fees will be included in your closing cost.
  • The buyer must have the property inspected by a licensed Home Inspector. The inspection is reviewed by NeighborWorks® Green Bay. Any defective items must be corrected.”

Green County MSA Professional Services Home Purchaser Program (HPP) (800) 552-6330

Janesville Down payment & Closing Cost Assistance Program (DCCAP) (608) 755-3067

Manitowoc County Hmong Mutual Assistance Association Housing Cost Reduction Initiative Program (HCRI) (920) 458-0808

Milwaukee County Suburban First Time Homebuyer’s Program (FTHP) (414) 278-4877

“Housing Cost Reduction Initiative Homebuyer (HCRIH Grant)

This assistance (up to $2,500 based on household size and annual income) is made possible through funding received from the State of Wisconsin-Division of Housing. These grant funds are forgivable over the initial three-year period of owner-occupancy.

Click here to download the brochure for additional requirements.
Milwaukee Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc Homeownership Consortium Reduction Initiative (HCRI) (414) 383-2272

“Housing Cost Reduction Initiative (HCRI) & HomeBuyer & Housing Rehabilitation (HHR)
The Wisconsin Division of Housing and HUD provides funds to local governments and housing organizations to cover down-payment assistance, closing costs, and other soft costs involved in the purchase of a home by low-income households. Funds can be utilized for new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of a home to be purchased which reduces homeownership costs for low-income households. Contact: Betty Kalscheur at (608) 267-6904, Betty.Kalscheur@wi.gov, http://housing.wi.gov then choose HCRI or HHR from the left panel. For HUD entitlement communities, see Appendix B.”

Racine Homebuyer Down payment Assistance Program (HDAP) (262) 636-9151

Rock County Home Purchase Assistance (HPA) (608) 757-5587

Rusk County Homestead Opportunity Program (715) 532-9075

Sheboygan County Hmong Mutual Assistance Association Housing Cost Reduction Initiative Program (HCRI) (920) 458-0808

Sheboygan Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (920) 458-0808

Waukesha County HBC Services Inc Grant Program (GRANT) (262) 650-3627

Wausau House Cost Initiative Program (715) 261-6682

West Allis Homebuyers Loan Program (414) 302-8430

“Persons meeting household income guidelines may be eligible for assistance with down payment and closing costs when purchasing a single-family home or a duplex in West Allis. Home Buyer Loan Program Application

Wisconsin Ho-Chunk Housing Authority Down Payment Assistance Grant Program (GRANT) (800) 236-2260

Was designed to assist Tribal members with the Purchase of a Non-HOP
1. The tribal member requesting any assistance must be an enrolled member with the Ho-Chunk Nation.
2. The tribal member applying must be at least 18 years or older and legally competent.
3. First time homebuyer.
4. If an Applicant has been identified on the National Sexual Offender Registry, they would be ineligible to
reside in the Ho-Chunk Nation Rental Properties and residences in Ho-Chunk Nation Homes and ineligible
to receive any HOP funding. In the interest of providing tribal membership with a safe living environment.
5. This grant cannot be used in conjunction with any other Down Payment Assistance Program (ie.HHCDA –
Ho-Chunk Housing & Community Development Agency)
6. You will be required to sign a stipulation letter acknowledging that if you sell the home prior to (60 months)
you will be required to pay the Grant back accordingly to the following guidelines:
1. 5 year = $ 0 reimbursement
2. 4 year = $ 1,000 reimbursement
3. 3 year = $ 2,000 reimbursement
4. 2 year = $ 3,000 reimbursement
5. 1 year = $ 4,000 reimbursement
6. Any amount exceeding the closing cost shall be applied”

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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