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Minnesota Homeownership Center shares FAQ related to First-Generation Homebuyers Community Down Payment Assistance Fund

SPAAR - 02/26/2024

With the spring homebuying season and the planned launch of Minnesota's First-Generation Homebuyers Community Down Payment Assistance Fund coming soon, there is risk for misinformation spreading within and among the real estate and mortgage professional communities. As program specifics continue to be finalized, SPAAR’s partners at the Minnesota Homeownership Center have created the following FAQs.

  1. The First-Generation Homebuyers Community Down Payment Assistance Fund was created via collaboration between the Minnesota Homeownership Center, Minnesota Realtors®, Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation, a cross-sector industry advisory group and numerous community members. The Minnesota State Legislature funded the program with $100 million in 2023.
  2. The definitive source of information about this Program is the FirstGenDPA.org website.
  3. Minnesota Housing also has a first generation DPA program coming online this spring. It is different and separate from the Community Program. MMCDC and the Minnesota Homeownership Center do not represent Minnesota Housing’s program, nor does Minnesota Housing represent the Community Program. If you want to learn about both programs, pay attention to the two program websites and attend the trainings hosted by each respective organization for their respective programs: FirstGenDPA.org and mnhousing.gov/homeownership/firstgen.html
  4. Program terms, guidelines and related details are not yet finalized, and likely won’t be for at least another month. All information on the FirstGenDPA.org web site is subject to change at this point. If you want to be kept up-to-date on changing information, sign up for updates on the FirstGenDPA.org website.
  5. Industry training is being coordinated by MMCDC in partnership with the Homeownership Center, Minnesota Mortgage Association, Minnesota Realtors® and the Center's Program Advisory Council.
  6. Three trainings for lenders were/are being held in February 2024. These sessions are serving as a pilot to gauge our approach to training. After these trainings are all completed, we will make any necessary adjustments and post a recording of a lender-focused training on the FirstGenDPA.org website at FirstGenDPA.org/For-Lenders-and-Realtors.
  7. A Realtor-specific training will be held in late February or early March. Minnesota Realtors® is planning this training, and the date has not yet been finalized.
  8. Industry trainings are designed for attendees already experienced in transactions involving the down payment assistance process. The trainings will not provide general information about using DPA programs, but will focus on the details of the Fund.
  9. The Homeownership Opportunity Alliance (HOA) is planning to host a lunch-and-learn on the First-Generation Homebuyers Community Down Payment Assistance Fund. This event will likely take place in late March or early April after the initial round of industry trainings so that we can continue to optimize the training content.
  10. At this time, MMCDC and the Homeownership Center are not in a position to honor requests for trainings specific to a particular lending institution. That may change in the future as the program is rolled out.
  11. We need our industry partners to help us ensure that accurate information is being shared, and that industry professionals benefit from the optimum training available. If you represent an industry organization, such as a mortgage lender or broker or real estate office, here’s what you can do to help:
    *** Send an email to your teams announcing the FirstGenDPA.org website and emphasizing the importance of referring to the website for definitive information (FirstGenDPA.org/For-Lenders-and-Realtors)
    *** Stress the importance of participating in official trainings about the program and/or viewing the recorded trainings when they are available on the website
    ***Attend Homeownership Opportunity Alliance meetings which will include updates on the program
    *** Assign a point person or ambassador to be the lead on understanding the program and sharing information throughout your organization
    *** Stress with your co-workers that there are two First Gen DPA programs administered by two different entities. They are different in several key ways.
  12. A consumer outreach campaign will launch likely in early April, once the program guidelines are finalized, with an emphasis on paid social media and reaching lower-income households and communities of color. When we know more, we will share how industry partners can help to advance this campaign among the communities you serve.

The above information was provided by the Minnesota Homeownership Center.

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