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Pennsylvania Grants

There are many grants available in this State to assist a home buyer purchase a home. By using these grants it makes it possible to purchase a home with little or no money down. 

Below is a list of some of the grants available, as well as contact information for each. Some are State sponsored grants. Some are sponsored on the county or municipality level. 

Understand that many of these grants have limited funding, and most have income restrictions, so it is important to work with your mortgage lender and the non profit administering the grant program to ensure availability of funds. 

State Sponsored
Bank Sponsored Matching Funds Programs
Community/local Sponsored Grants
Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance Programs

State Sponsored 

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) provides eligible buyers with below-market interest rate home loans through two programs, the Keystone Home Loan and the Keystone Home Loan PLUS. 

Both programs have maximum income and purchase price limits that vary by the county in which you are buying a home (in other words, your income could not be over the income limit, and the purchase price of the home could not exceed the purchase price limit) and can be used for new construction. You may also need to be a first-time buyer and meet other eligibility guidelines specific to each program. 

I have provided web links for each program below where you can find the income and purchase price limits, as well as additional information on the programs.

Click here for the Keystone Home Loan Program: 


This program has the fewest eligibility restrictions and the highest income and purchase price limits. 

Click here for the Keystone Home Loan PLUS Program: 


This program has the lowest rate available, but the income and purchase price limits are lower than the regular Keystone Home Loan. Buyers eligible for a PLUS loan may also be able to get a loan for up to $2,000 with 0% interest to help with their closing costs.

PHFA's Purchase Improvement loan allows buyers who qualify for a Keystone Home Loan or a Keystone Home Loan PLUS to purchase and improve/repair a home within one transaction. Eligible buyers may include between $1,000 and $15,000 for repairs and/or improvements with a conventional PHFA first mortgage, as long as the 'As Completed' appraised value supports the cost of the repairs. This allows the buyer to make needed repairs right away, without having to take out another loan at a higher rate and with a shorter repayment period.

Homebuyers eligible for the HOMEstead program may qualify for up to $15,000 in downpayment and closing cost assistance in the form of a forgivable, no-interest, second mortgage loan. Repayment of this loan is required only upon full repayment of the first mortgage, sale, transfer, refinance, or non-owner occupancy. The minimum loan amount is $1,000. The first mortgage is provided by PHFA at the same rate as the Keystone Home Loan PLUS program. A fee of one percent plus $300 is applicable, but may be financed by the HOMEstead loan. Information on the HOMEstead program can be found at: 


There are also state and county grant and forgivable loan programs that could provide additional assistance in buying a home. You can find the complete list of PHFA approved assistance programs via this link: 


Bank Sponsored Matching Funds Programs 

Banks that are members of the Federal Home Loan Banking system also offer IDA savings accounts. Visit the Regional Federal Home Loan Bank web site for more information.

Community/local Sponsored Grants


Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance Programs

There are several non profit organizations that allow a seller to “donate” funds to them at closing, which is then given to the buyer as a down payment assistance grant. Presently, the federal government is reviewing these programs to determine whether this practice is an acceptable lending practice. By using one of these programs it is possible to purchase a home with little or no money. The seller needs to be a motivated seller, and the home needs to be priced correctly. Usually the sales price is inflated to cover the “donation”. The home must be able to appraise at the inflated price. These programs are initiated by the lender, so it is important to work with a local lender before you start looking for a home. The lender will also know how present legislation is affecting the program. The two most commonly used programs are The American Dream DAP and The Nehemiah DAP. Below are links to their web site.

American Dream:  http://www.americandreamdownpaymentassistance.com/dpa_app.cfm

Nehemiah Corp: