The homebuyer grant program of the FHLBank of Pittsburgh

First Front Door 2014 Funding Round Now Closed

For 2014, the Bank made $3.3 million of First Front Door (FFD) funding available to help qualified first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs. All of this year’s funds have now been allocated, and additional FFD registrations will no longer be accepted for this round.

The next round of FFD funds will be available in 2015. Details about the 2015 round will be communicated in January.

Click here to find out where you can apply for First Front Door!

Through First Front Door (FFD), FHLBank Pittsburgh (Bank) will assist with closing cost and down payment assistance by matching a qualified homebuyer's contribution 3-to-1. For every $1 of contribution the homebuyer makes, the Bank will provide $3 in grant assistance, up to a maximum of $5,000. To receive the full $5,000, a homebuyer would need to contribute $1,667.

Homebuyer contributions can take the form of savings, a gift, a tax refund, an inheritance or any other funds accumulated by the homebuyer. Contributions may not include another grant or forgivable loan.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are exhausted. FFD grants are provided by the Bank through a network of participating member institutions.

Eligible Properties

Qualified first-time homebuyers can use FFD grants toward closing costs and down payment assistance on eligible properties that are intended as the primary residence of the homebuyer at the time of program enrollment. These properties include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and modular units. Manufactured homes may be eligible if they are permanently affixed to a site. Investment properties are not eligible for FFD assistance.

Homebuyer Eligibility Requirements

Each prospective homebuyer must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer (which means you have not owned a home within the past three years, or owned a home only while married but not as a single person within the last three years – this includes a married couple if either has not owned a home in the past three years).
  • Contribute personal funds as part of the down payment and closing costs.
  • Have an income at or below 80 percent of the area median income at the time of FFD program enrollment and not have assets in excess of $50,000 (excluding retirement accounts). To check income limits for all states (use low-income limit) click here.
  • Not be a student working less than 30 hours per week.
  • Complete at least four hours of homeownership counseling from an approved counseling agency prior to the purchase of the home. Counseling must include the topic of predatory lending. Approved counseling agencies have received accreditation from one of the following organizations:
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – click here for a list of approved agencies.
  • National Industry Standards – click here for a list of approved agencies.
  • Your State or State’s Housing Finance Agency (to find their approved counseling agencies, check their website).
  • A participating member institution that is offering the FFD program.
  • Online counseling provided by eHome America Homebuyer Education and Certification– click here for more information. There is a $125 non-reimbursable fee for the online course.
  • Pay at least 15 percent of monthly household income for principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI).
  • NOT receive more than $250 cash back at loan closing.
  • Obtain a first mortgage from a participating member institution.
  • Retain the home for five years from the loan closing date in order to keep the full amount of the grant. A second mortgage and note are made part of the original mortgage documentation. If the homebuyer moves or sells the home before the five-year retention period expires, a prorated portion of the grant may need to be repaid.

How to Apply

  1. Call a contact person from a list of participating member institutions.
  2. Visit the participating member institutions branch location to discuss their mortgage process and ask for a First Front Door grant.
How First Front Door Works
Prospective homebuyer calls or visits a participating member institution Participating member institution and homebuyer complete registration form and gather income verification documentation Participating member institution submits completed registration and income verification documentation to the Bank Complete applications are processed within 10 business days at which time the Bank notifies the participating member institution of registration approval and FFD grant amount
  Within 6 months, prospective homebuyer attends and completes homeownership counseling, buys home with participating member institution providing a first mortgage and advancing eligible grant amount Participating member institution submits disbursement request with required documents to the Bank within 6 months of homebuyer grant reservation Bank reimburses the participating member institution for the advanced FFD grant amount