The Homeownership Voucher Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began in 2000 as a way of providing assistance to those struggling to pay rent. Few people, however, know that the vouchers can also be used to help pay the mortgage on a new home.
The program is available in most parts of the country, but how it is administered and what the qualifications are vary depending on the jurisdiction in which the potential homeowner lives. Generally, the amount of mortgage assistance and the amount of rental assistance for which an applicant qualifies are the same, although this is not always the case.
In order to qualify for a Homeownership Voucher and apply it to a mortgage, the applicant must already have qualified for and received a rental voucher. If they do not, they will have to apply for one first before they can apply for mortgage assistance. They must also meet the HUD definition of a first-time home buyer and meet the minimum income qualifications set by their local housing authority. Applicants must have completed a housing and homeownership program, and met some other requirements.
In most areas, those who receive a voucher must still contribute 30 percent of their monthly adjusted gross income towards their mortgage payment. The remaining balance will be paid by the voucher. In some jurisdictions, however, the voucher amount is actually a percentage of the average cost of owning a house in that area.