You already know there are personal benefits to homeownership—possible tax savings, potential equity and the freedom to decorate and redecorate (and redecorate) however you want. But did you realize there could also be social and economic benefits too? According to The Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies, homeownership creates economic stability, decreases crime, and increases civic engagement. That’s why many states have created programs to encourage it. Down payment assistance programs, or DPAs, may provide borrowers the down payment funds needed to secure a first mortgage to buy a new house.

What is a Down Payment Assistance Program?

Down payment assistance programs vary, so it is a good idea to contact a knowledgeable loan officer to discuss your specific scenario, but generally, DPA programs provide down payment funds as grants, second mortgages or other niche programs. They are typically paired with a competitive conventional or FHA first mortgage.

Bond Programs

Bond programs are DPAs created by government-issued bonds to encourage homeownership (and all those public benefits mentioned above). Generally, these DPA programs offer a competitive first mortgage and some type of financial assistance for the down payment. Some programs offer a percentage of the purchase price, and some offer a flat dollar amount. Some are treated as a second mortgage that is repaid, and some may be forgiven if certain conditions are met. Some are available only to first-time homebuyers, and some are available to anyone who meets the criteria. The big take away is that bond programs vary, and usually are only available through qualified lenders, such as Castle & Cooke Mortgage.

Homes for Heroes

Homes for Heroes was established as a way to “give back” to the local “heroes” who make our communities better places: firefighters, law enforcement, military, healthcare workers and teachers. Homes for Heroes is an affiliation of mortgage loan officers and realtors who offer discounts that may be applied toward closing costs. The size of the discount varies depending on the transaction but Homes for Heroes discounts may be available if you’re buying or refinancing your house. If you are a “hero,” call a Castle & Cooke Mortgage loan officer for more details on DPA programs.

Chenoa Fund

A variation on the bond program is the Chenoa Fund. Available in most states, the Chenoa fund pairs a fixed-rate FHA first mortgage with up to 3.5% down payment assistance—the amount FHA requires for a down payment. Depending on the particulars of your market area (see our blog post here), this second mortgage down payment assistance may or may not have to be repaid. Castle & Cooke Mortgage is one of a limited number of lenders approved to work with the Chenoa Fund.

Down payment assistance programs usually come with conditions that remain in effect after you close on the loan, such as occupancy requirements or deed restrictions. So while DPAs may not be for everybody, they could be a good option for first-time homebuyers or for those struggling to save enough money for a down payment. Castle & Cooke Mortgage loan officers are highly trained and are happy to talk about whether or not a DPA is a good choice for you.


Down payment assistance is offered and provided by third-party entities and are dependent upon that entity’s set of regulations, restrictions and qualifications to govern the distribution and any potential repayment of those funds. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is not responsible for non-qualification by an applicant, nor funds availability, from the providing down payment assistance entity.

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is not affiliated with any government entity.

The Chenoa Fund program may be closed with the assistance of a third party and is not available in IL, MA, MS, NY, SD and WV.

Not all Castle & Cooke Mortgage loan officers are affiliated with Homes for Heroes.

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC® (NMLS #1251) is a leading independent mortgage lender headquartered in Draper, Utah, with locations across the United States.

Restrictions may apply. Not all who apply will qualify. Program qualifications & offerings are subject to change at any time. Equal Housing Lender. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is licensed in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI and WY. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is licensed by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions Arizona Mortgage Banker: BK-0908287. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act License #4130740. In Colorado, Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is regulated by the Division of Real Estate. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #43759. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee. Oregon Mortgage Lending License #ML-4090. Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banker and Consumer Finance.

Information contained in this this Blog does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice or services and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. The purpose of the Blog is to provide Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC’s opinions and general guidance on certain matters related to mortgages. The reader accepts full responsibility for use of the information contained herein.