Florida Hometown Heroes: Are You Eligible?

florida hometown heroes program

Florida's real estate market and the economy at large is rife with incentives to live, work, and thrive in our state. The lack of a state income tax, relatively low sales tax, and incredibly high quality of life are just a few of the incentives to live in South Florida. For homeowners, however, the incentives run much deeper. The Florida Homestead Exemption is perhaps the most notable economic incentive for Delray Beach homeowners to take advantage of, but there is another program that can be a life-changing event for those who are eligible. This program is known as Hometown Heroes. In our blog, we'll review the basis for, the eligibility requirements, and the incredible opportunities the Florida Hometown Heroes provides. 

florida hometown heroes

What Is The Florida Hometown Heroes Program? 

First launched in June 2022 as part of an initiative led by Governor Ron DeSantis, The Florida Hometown Heroes program provides down payment and closing cost support to first-time, income qualified home buyers looking for a primary residence within the community they provide for. Depending on the nature of your qualification, you may also enjoy low-interest rates and further benefits for continuing in your capacity. Following an additional infusion of $100 Million this past June, the program has already helped over 6,700 professionals purchase their first home.

green pencil on checklist


Now that you know "what" the program is, it's time to find out the answer to "who." As the name suggests, the Florida Hometown Heroes program is built to encourage people serving in specific capacities to enjoy a higher quality of life in the community they serve. This includes everyone from active duty military, veterans, nurses, teachers, police, firefighters, and medical practitioners. This even extends to medical assistants, chiropractic caregivers, therapists of all kinds, athletic trainers, and homeopathic professionals such as acupuncturists. As part of the initiative to continue localizing employment and keeping Floridian money in Florida, there are several requirements beyond professional eligibility that one must abide by in order to qualify. They are as follows:

  • Buyers (with the exception of military veterans) must work a minimum of 35 hours per week with a Florida based employer.
  • All buyers must be first time homeowners.
  • Buyers must have a minimum 640 credit score
  • Buyers must take a HUD homebuyer education course

disqualified from florida hometown heroes

Disqualifying factors

There are several key disqualifying factors that all applicants must know before applying for the Hometown Heroes program. These are as follows:

  • You cannot use this loan for refinancing.
  • The program is only available for owner-occupied residences.
  • Lot and Land loans are not permitted. Only existing housing is eligible.
  • The buyer must not make more than 150% the gross income of your home county. Palm Beach County is currently capped at $146,100.
  • Must have a minimum qualifying credit score.

benefits from hometown heroes

How Will You Benefit?

Simply put, qualified first-time homebuyers will receive up to 5% of their total loan or a maximum of $35,000. This is an outstanding benefit to anyone providing for their community within the qualified professions, especially considering how many of these young professionals are currently working against student loans. This is a 30-year deferred non-amortizing mortgage that is not forgivable but is not necessary to repay until the event of a sale, transfer of deed, payment of first mortgage, or refinancing while the mortgage holder ceases to occupy the residence. If one of these events takes place, the loan will become due and payable in full. In addition, note that the program is restricted to one-time participation in a first-time loan program. Any past participation in a first-time loan program will result in ineligibility. Lastly, this program is restricted to use for down payments, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs, or principal reduction. It cannot be used to pay the difference between sale and appraised value or pay off debt.

Looking to see if you're eligible. Visit the Florida Hometown Heroes program page to verify your qualifications.

Looking for outstanding communities for first time home buyers? Try these three below: 

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