Suffolk Opens Down Payment Program for First-Time Home Buyers

Suffolk County has opened for application process for a homeowner down payment assistance program, County Executive Steve Bellone announced Thursday.

Under the program, eligible first-time homebuyers can receive up to $30,000 of the purchase of a single-family residence on the condition that they live in the home for at least 10 years.

Eligible areas include the Suffolk County Consortium, made up of the five eastern towns, Smithtown and Huntington, excluding certain villages. Islip, Babylon and Brookhaven have their own programs, the county said.

“Access to home ownership is a fundamental element and has been in our country’s history towards securing longterm stability and security for families and to foster stronger communities,” Bellone said.

Details on the program are available at

“We take immense pride in contributing towards making our residents’ dreams of owning a home a reality,” Bellone said.  “In the past we offered up to $14,000 per homeowner with the condition that they live in the home for 5 years. This year we are upping it to $30,000 per homeowner with the condition they live in the home for 10 years. This is critical to allow more people to take part in this incredible opportunity to become a homeowner.”

The program, which was launched in 1993, provides up to $30,000 for homebuyers to use toward their down payment. The buyer is responsible for the balance of the down payment and all closing costs.

All prospective applicants are required to attend housing counseling prior to submitting an application, and a mortgage counseling certificate is required for applying to the program. The first-time buyer qualification will be waived for U.S. military veterans who have a certificate of release or discharge from active duty (DD-214) verifying honorable discharge.

Eligibility Criteria

  • An applicant must be a first-time homebuyer, which is defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a household that has not owned a home during the three-year period immediately prior to the purchase of a residence with HOME funding.
  • Prospective applicants must represent a low to moderate income household with an annual income not exceeding 80% of the area median income as determined by HUD, which includes an adjustment for family size; must have at least $3,000 banked at the time of application; and have a documented minimum income of at least $40,000 and be able to obtain a mortgage from a qualified lender.
  • Maximums are set according to 2023 HUD income guidelines and be able to obtain a mortgage from a qualified lender.
  • The maximum appraised value of an existing home cannot exceed $532,000.  For a newly constructed home, the appraised value cannot exceed $555,000.
  • The applicant must occupy the property as their principal residence for 10 years.
  • The following kinds of housing are eligible: single family homes, condominiums, and cooperative apartments (co-ops).

3 Replies to “Suffolk Opens Down Payment Program for First-Time Home Buyers”

  1. The maximum allowable income rage should be higher. It doesn’t reflect the current home prices vs. income levels on Long Island, let alone Huntington.

  2. As a Realtor who has participated in similar grant programs, years ago, when cost of housing was lower, the income shown is extremely low for Long Island compared to the cost of housing and taxes. So many workforce buyers are in need. I am passing this information along to my clients and will keep them informed. I remain an advocate of all programs and combinations as I have had the experience of a positive result at closing tables across Long Island.

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