Housing Finance Authority First-Time Homebuyer Program

Effective May 26, 2023

(Ver en Español)

The Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County First-Time Homebuyer Program could be your key to achieving the American dream. If you have never owned a home, have not owned a home in the past three years or are a veteran, you may qualify for this program.

Current interest rate on FHA, VA and RD is 5.75%. For the Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Conventional program, it is 6.00%.

Down payment and closing cost assistance is available with a Home Key Plus 2nd Mortgage. Get started by taking the Homebuyer Education class. Then, contact a lender from the Approved Lender List to assist you in making your dreams come true.

Minimum FICO for all loans is 660.

The home must serve as the primary residence for the duration of the loan.

Visit our frequently asked questions page to find additional information for first time homebuyers.

Home Buyer Classes / Lenders

  • Homebuyer Classes
    Learn about the process of buying a home, how to avoid costly mistakes, the importance of maintaining your home, and more. Attending the Homebuyer Education class is a requirement for this program. Classes are offered in all three counties.
  • Approved Lenders
    Please choose a lender from the Approved Lender list and contact them. Let them you have the certificate from your Homebuyer Education class and are ready to be pre-approved for a mortgage. The lender will pre-approve you and give you letter to take to your realtor.

Home Key Plus 2nd Mortgage Down Payment Assistance

This down payment and closing cost assistance program is a deferred, non-amortizing. 0% interest, second mortgage that is repayable when borrowers sell or refinance the property, satisfy the first mortgage, rent or no longer occupy the property as a primary residence.

Pinellas County assistance is $12,000.

Pasco County and Polk County assistance is $8,000.

Target Areas

Per the 2010 census, the following census tracts constitute the Targeted Areas for this program:

  • Pinellas County: Includes Census Tracts: 205, 208, 216, 245.01, 246.02, 247.03, 255.05, 262 and 268.18.
  • Pasco County: Includes Census Tracts: 304.10, 305.01, 308, 310.09, 314.08, 318.07, 324.02, 326.01, 330.09 and 330.12.
  • Polk County: Includes Census Tracts: 112.04, 114, 117.04, 120.02, 123.05, 131.03, 133, 134, 136, 139.01, 141.04, 143.01,154.05, 158.01  and 164.

To view property census tract information please visit the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFEIC) website: enter the address of the property and search. When the map comes up you will see a red dot on the property. Near the dot you will see the census tract number for that property in blue. You can scroll around the map the view the census tracts in the area.

Income Requirements for Target / Non-Target Areas – FHA, VA, Rural Development, and Freddie Mac over 80% Area Median Income

Pinellas County and Pasco County Home Key 1st Mortgage

Family SizeMaximum Non-Target area IncomeMaximum Target Area Income
1-2 family members$89,400$107,280
3+ family member$102,810$125,160

Maximum purchase price is $481,176 for Non-Target areas and $588,104 for Target areas.

Polk County Home Key 1st Mortgage

Family SizeMaximum Non-Target area IncomeMaximum Target Area Income
1-2 family members$87,330$102,600
3+ family member$100,429$119,700

Maximum purchase price is $481,176 for Non-Target areas and $588,104 for Target areas.

Income Requirements for Freddie Mac HFA Conventional Loan <80% Area Median Income

This is a special loan in partnership with Freddie Mac. There is a 3% down payment requirement and the mortgage insurance is at a lower rate.

County80% Area Median Income


  1. Determine if your income and credit score are within the guidelines.
    • If you need assistance with raising your credit score, contact one of the HUD approved Housing Counseling Agencies that provide the Home Buyer Education course.
  2. Sign up to take a Home Buyer Education class and receive the certificate.
  3. Contact one of the approved lenders and tell them you have taken the class and are ready to get pre-approved. The lender will pre-approve you and tell you the amount you’ve been approved for.
  4. Contact a Realtor of your choosing and go shopping for a home.
  5. Go to closing and get the keys to your new home.


For additional information or questions, please call (727) 223-6419.

If you want to become a participating lender contact the Housing Finance Authority.