Detroit Gives $6 Million in Down Payments to Low-Income Residents

by Scott McClallen


The city of Detroit will allocate $6 million to give low-income Detroiters who don’t own a home a down payment of up to $25,000.

The Detroit Down Payment Assistance Program provides qualifying Detroit households grants up to $25,000 for a down payment. Funding also can be used for other home purchase-related expenses, including prepaids (such as escrow deposits for property taxes), interest rate buy-downs, closing costs and reduction in principal.

The program, funded by American Rescue Plan dollars, is part of a $203 million Affordable Housing Plan that Mayor Mike Duggan and Councilmembers unveiled in July.

The program is expected to help between 240 and 400 lower-income and middle-class homebuyers in the next two years, depending on each downpayment amount.

To be eligible to apply for the program, Detroit residents must not have held an interest in property in the last three years.

For a single person to qualify, that person would have to make less than $43,740 a year. A two-person household would have to make less than $59,160 annually, and a three-person household would have to make less than $74,580. annually.

“There are a lot of Detroiters who are paying more in rent each month than the cost of a mortgage payment but need some help with upfront costs associated with purchasing a home,” Duggan said in a statement. “Thanks to President Biden and the American Rescue Plan Act, we can help hundreds more Detroiters own their own homes, create generational wealth and protect themselves from the increasing rents we are seeing as our city rebuilds. We are already seeing more people benefitting from the opportunity to become homeowners in Detroit, and this is a chance for more Detroiters to join them.”

There are three steps to enter the program.

  • Find a lender from among the 13 partner organizations in the program. The participating lenders are Bank of America, Chase, CIBC, Citizens, Fifth Third Bank, First Independence Bank, First Merchants Bank, Flagstar Bank, Huntington Bank, Independent Bank, Liberty Bank, PNC Bank and Rocket Mortgage.
  • Find a house you want to buy.
  • Apply to the program at

The DAP is geared primarily toward renters, but also to those who lost their home to foreclosure in 2010-16.

The program will be overseen by the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department and implemented by National Faith Homebuyers, a Detroit-based nonprofit that since 1996 has assisted metro Detroiters in buying a house or staying in their homes.

The program follows considerable increases in property values, which has also raised rents.

“The progress Detroit has seen has been incredible, but it also comes at a time of increasing lending rates that threaten that progress,” Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department director Julie Schneider. “We know that to keep the trend going, we needed to offer something that was going to have a major impact for Detroit families. We also are providing further tools and resources to those homebuyers to set them up for greater success.”

Applicants must prove they have lived in the city of Detroit for the last 12 months, or that they lost a home in the city due to property tax foreclosure between 2010 and 2016.

All individuals receiving a grant must use the home as their principal residence for three years after the grant award or pay back the loan on a pro-rated basis, based on how long they lived in the home after the grant award. The grants apply when the applicant is buying a home using a purchase mortgage or a purchase renovation mortgage.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on and
Photo “Mike Duggan” by Mayor Mike Duggan. Background Photo “Detroit, Michigan” by Ken Lund. CC BY-SA 2.0.


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