Washington, D.C. offers several programs to help people realize their dream of owning a home in the city. In the second part of our series on D.C. homeownership assistance programs, we explain help available to city employees through D.C.'s Employer Assisted Housing Program. The program offers city employees funds for a down payment, deferred loans, and tax incentives that help make buying a home more affordable. If qualified, buyers may also get help through the city's Home Purchase Assistance Program described in Part 1 of the series.
The Employer Assisted Housing Program
The Employer Assisted Housing Program offers matching down payment funds up to $1,500 and deferred loans up to $10,000 for all employees of the D.C. government. Applicants must be first-time homebuyers in D.C. to qualify for the Department of Housing and Community Development program.
Eligibility and Benefits
In addition to the down payment help and loan, those receiving loans get additional tax benefits. These tax benefits include a $2,000 annual income tax credit for five years and a graduated property tax credit for the first five years of ownership. The property tax credit covers 80 percent of property taxes in the first year, 60 percent in the second year, 40 percent in the third year, and 20 percent in the fourth and fifth years of homeownership. Applicants must continue to meet program eligibility requirements to continue to receive the annual tax credits. This means that the applicant must remain employed by the D.C. government and must continue to live in the property.
To qualify for the program, most city government employees must be employed for at least one year. Public school teachers, emergency medical technicians, police officers, and fire fighters are eligible for the program at the time of their appointment.
To apply for the Employer Assisted Housing Program, employees must submit an application to an approved Community Based Organization. These organizations include Housing Counseling Services, Lydia’s House, the Latino Economic Development Corporation, and University Legal Services. Applications are then sent to the Greater Washington Urban League, which examines applications and establishes eligibility for the program. The league will then send you a Notice of Eligibility with information about the assistance available to you and the process that you would need to follow in order to become a homeowner in the district.