American Dream Downpayment Initiative


As of March 1, 2024, the maximum loan amount for ADDI has been increased to $14,999.

For additional information, please contact:

Brandy Ashley, MA I
(614) 645-9656
111 N. Front Street, 3rd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

The City of Columbus American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) Program operates jointly with participating lenders by providing funds to create homeownership opportunities in Columbus for low and middle-income, first-time homebuyers. The property must be located in the City of Columbus corporation limits. If the property is located in the City of Columbus, this program may be used in conjunction with the Housing Development Program (HDP). Outlined below are applicant and property criteria for participation in this program.

The ADDI program offers a deferred, forgivable loan to be used for downpayment and closing costs. The buyer(s) must reside in the property for five years after closing or the funds must be repaid to the City from sale proceeds. The property is unable to be sold, rented, or transferred during these five years and must remain as the sole residence of the buyer(s). After the five years, the mortgage and restrictive covenant are released on the property and the loan is forgiven.


To be eligible, the applicant must be a first time* homebuyer, meet income guidelines, receive homebuyer education from a Housing Division HUD Certified Agency, and purchase a single family home or condominium in the City of Columbus. The funds for downpayment assistance are limited and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

*A first-time homebuyer is defined as an individual and their spouse who have not owned a home during the three-year period (thirty-six months) prior to the purchase of a home with ADDI assistance. A minimum of six (6) months residency in the State of Ohio and a permanent resident of the United States are also required to be considered a first-time homebuyer.

Households whose income is at or below 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), may qualify for up to six percent (6%) of the purchase price of the home, maximum loan of $14,999.

All buyers must contribute $500 of their own funds toward the purchase of the home. This $500 may not be gifted or come from any other source other than the buyer themselves. Appraisal and Home inspection costs will be considered based on approved criteria. Buyer must fall within 35% House Debt/Income ratio and 45% Total debt/Income ratio based on City income and debt calculations in order to qualify.

2023 HUD HOME Income Limits(PDF, 79KB)

Application Process

The City of Columbus maintains a list of lenders that are certified to utilize the ADDI Program. In order for the application to be processed the lender must be on this list.

ADDI-Lender-List-4.2024.pdf(PDF, 115KB)

Lenders not on the list are welcome to contact the Housing Division to become certified or by completing the attached Lender Participation Agreement ADDI-Lender-Participation-Agreement-2024-Fillable.pdf(PDF, 244KB) . After completing, signing, and notarizing please submit the original.

The City of Columbus requires that the buyer first contact a lender to become qualified for a mortgage loan and then locates a home to purchase through a certified real estate agent. After the mortgage loan is approved, the lender should submit the completed ADDI package on the buyer's behalf. Depending on the thoroughness of the application packet, the approval generally takes four to six (4 to 6) weeks from receipt of the COMPLETED application. Once the package receives final approval, both the lender and homebuyer receive the approval letter and the ADDI funds are ordered at this time. Please allow 3-5 business days for receipt of funds. Closing may occur as soon as three (3) business days after receipt of funds. For conventional loans only, closing may occur as early as 48 hours after approval. For FHA loans, the closing can take place approximately two (2) weeks after the commitment letter is sent to the homebuyer and the lender.

ADDI Lender Training Video

ADDI Homebuyer Education Policy – Covid-19 Exception

Effective April 20, 2020

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the City is waiving the face-to-face Homebuyer Education Course requirement. Until courses are once again being offered in-person, prospective homebuyers for the ADDI program can utilize online courses through one of the City’s HUD certified vendors listed below.

2024-Homebuyer-Education-Agencies-002.pdf(PDF, 11KB)

Homebuyers may be within the Modcon Living Tool Library boundaries (formerly RebuildingTogether Central Ohio). The Modcon Living Tool Library Program is designed to encourage low-cost home maintenance and improvements by lending tools and equipment free of charge to residents in designated service areas. This program provides over 200 different types of hand and power tools for home repair, maintenance, landscaping, and painting. To see if you are eligible, please contact Modcon Living at (614) 258-6392 or visit