Cumberland County: First Time Homebuyer Program

Nice split entry home with a two car garage and a paved drivewayCumberland County offers grant assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a single-family home in the area. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund provides up to $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to qualified applicants with a gross annual income that meets specific requirements.

Applicants must have lived or worked in Cumberland County for at least six months to be eligible for this program. This down payment and closing cost assistance can make homeownership more accessible for first-time homebuyers in Cumberland County.

Assistance Details

Eligibility Criteria:
To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet specific requirements. The borrower's gross annual income must not exceed 100% of the County's median income. Additionally, buyers must contribute up to $20,000 towards the home, including gift funds and seller assistance, and any borrowed funds will be matched 3-to-1 by the program.

The maximum match amount is $5,000 for households with a gross annual income below 80% and $3,000 for households with an income between 80% to 100% of the median income. Moreover, buyers must not have assets exceeding $30,000 after settlement, excluding IRAs, 401(k)s, and comparable retirement accounts. 

Forgivable Loan:

The assistance provided by this program comes in the form of a five-year, no-interest, forgivable loan. Cumberland County will execute and record the grant agreement on behalf of the buyer in the amount awarded. No interest charges or monthly payments are required while the borrower maintains financial responsibility. One-sixtieth of the loan amount will be forgiven each month, and at the end of five years of homeownership, the entire award will be forgiven, and the County's lien will be removed. 

Application Process:

Buyers must attend a Homebuyer's Workshop to qualify for the program. Following the workshop, applicants must submit a completed application to the Redevelopment Authority with all the necessary documentation, such as proof of income, assets, and other applicable information. Once the application is processed and meets the eligibility criteria, the applicant will be notified. The funds must be utilized at settlement, and any excess funds will be returned to the Redevelopment Authority.  


This program aims to help low to moderate-income families achieve homeownership by matching contributions made by the buyer to the home. This assistance can help applicants achieve homeownership with reduced financial stress. 

Limited Assets:

Buyers must not have assets exceeding $30,000 after settlement, excluding IRAs, 401(k)s, and comparable retirement accounts. This requirement aims to ensure buyers demonstrate a financial need for the program's assistance. 

Loan Forgiveness:

This program offers a five-year, no-interest, forgivable loan. One-sixtieth of the loan amount will be forgiven each month, and after five years of homeownership, the total award is forgiven. This loan forgiveness ultimately reduces borrowers' financial burden and enables them to achieve long-term financial stability. 
Redevelopment Authority:

The Redevelopment Authority is responsible for processing the application and administering the program. Once approved, they will review the application, verify eligibility, and provide the grant award.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for assistance through this program, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • The eligibility requirement for this program is that the applicant must not have owned a home before, and it is specifically designed for first-time homebuyers.

  • To be matched with funds, the participants must prove that the funds they contribute are their own. The program is not intended to match borrowed funds or loans.

  • The participants' household assets cannot exceed $30,000 after they have settled on their homes. This is to ensure that the program is only assisting those who have limited assets.

  • Participants must not contribute more than $20,000 towards the purchase of the home. This includes any assistance the seller, lender, or gift funds provide. The program is intended to assist those who have limited resources.

  • The applicant must provide a pre-approval letter from a lender as part of the application process. This ensures that the applicant is financially qualified to participate in the program.

  • A credit score of 620 or higher is required for participants to be eligible for this program. This ensures that the participants are financially responsible and able to manage their finances.

  • The gross annual household income cannot exceed the 100% median income guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the current fiscal year. This ensures that the program only provides assistance to those with limited income.

  • Before settlement on their home, the applicant must complete the First-Time Homebuyer's Workshop. This workshop educates participants on home buying and provides them with the necessary skills to become successful homeowners.

Application Process

Interested parties can obtain an application from, by visiting the Redevelopment Authority of Cumberland County, or by calling Sue Dunfee at 717-249-0789 Ext—171, or by emailing Applications are accepted throughout the year. The number of applicants chosen to receive assistance each year depends on the annual Affordable Housing Trust Fund allocation to the Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program. Funds are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability.


The Cumberland County Affordable Housing Trust Fund First-Time Homebuyer's Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program significantly support qualified first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a single-family home in Cumberland County. Eligibility criteria must be met, but the program offers up to $5,000 in assistance, a forgivable loan. Interested parties can apply through various channels, and funds are subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis.

Credit counseling & First Time Home Buyer Classes in Cumberland County PA


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