Beige one family home


Kristina Eason, Program Manager
Phone: 614-645-9643
Email: homeownershipdevelopment@columbus.gov

Program Guidelines

Funds are in short supply and applications may be submitted with the understanding that funding may not be available. 

HDP Program Guidelines

Please click here for  HDP Guidelines.

The Homeownership Development Program (HDP) is designed to redevelop residential homes and residential properties either for sale as homeownership opportunities or for short term lease purchase (up to 36 months) within the city of Columbus. The program provides development and affordability gap financing based on need but not to exceed a total of $60,000.00 p[er unit in the form of a deferred forgivable loan. The City may consider larger gap financing amounts only if there are extraordinary circumstances and other financing sources cannot address the full gap.

This provides an incentive for non-profit and for-profit developers and/or builders to rehabilitate or construct quality homes to AWARE standards available for sale at an affordable price for income qualified homebuyers. Applicant and property criteria for participation in this program are outlined below.

The City receives funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct activities that are in compliance with the HOME Investment Partnerships Program with regulations at 24 CFR Part 92.

Geographic Information

Priority will be given to projects located in one of the City of Columbus’ Neighborhood Investment Districts (NIDs) and Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs); eligibility extends elsewhere in the city of Columbus. A non-profit certified as a CHDO can develop anywhere within their established boundaries.  Please click here for more information regarding CRAs

Eligible Applicants

Non-profit and for-profit developers are eligible to apply including Community Development Housing Organizations (CHDO's). A non-profit certified as a CHDO can develop anywhere within their established boundaries. The City will also evaluate a development organization's proven track record of completing, financing, and selling its proposed product. 

Eligible Property

Single family residences (including double conversions into single family homes, condos and fee simple townhomes), which will serve as the principal residence of the prospective homeowner, are eligible. Rental properties are ineligible. Units must be decent safe and sanitary as determined by the City before they are sold. Priority will be given to developers who take control of the site(s) from the Land Bank

Property Value Limitations

The selling price and the appraised value of all properties used in this program cannot exceed 95% of the U.S. median purchase price for new construction and existing housing limits for the area as defined by HUD. Subsidy provided cannot exceed maximum per unit subsidy limits established by HUD based on unit size.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include items such as acquisition/rehabilitation and soft costs; new construction with acquisition and soft costs; and affordability gap financing for the homebuyer. Construction must begin within three (3) months of loan closing.

Financing Guidelines

Financing may be a combination of a Development and/or an Affordability Gap. The City may consider larger gap financing amounts if the applicant can demonstrate financial need based on construction costs, appraisal values, and/or buyer affordability need. A minimum of $1,000 in affordability gap subsidy is required as part of the project structure when there is a development gap only funding request. Subsidy provided cannot exceed maximum per unit subsidy limits established by HUD based on unit size.

A Developer Gap is the difference between the development cost of the unit and the appraised value of the unit after construction or rehabilitation.  The actual Developer Gap is determined at the point of sale.

An Affordability Gap is the difference between the sales price of the home and the homebuyer's lender approved amount for a permanent mortgage. A licensed appraiser must determine the amount of the sales price.

  • Developer/Builder Forgivable
    • Maximum Developer Loan Limits: up to $60,000 per unit may be loaned for the purpose of Development and Affordability subsidies. The City may consider larger gap financing amounts only if there are extraordinary circumstances and other financing sources cannot address the full gap and if the applicant can demonstrate financial need based on construction costs, appraisal values, and/or buyer affordability needs.
    • Term: Deferred 24 months. However, the home must be sold or leased to a qualified buyer within nine months of completion.
    • Interest Rate: Five percent (5.0%) interest will accrue and compound annually if the unit is not sold or leased within nine months of completion to a qualified homebuyer.
    • Repayment: No repayment of the Development Gap principal or accrued interest will be required if the property is sold or leased within nine months of completion to a qualified homebuyer that meets the qualifications outlined in Income Qualified Homebuyer Forgivable Loans below.
  •  Loans

Repayment of the principal and accrued interest is required if the property is not sold or leased to an eligible homebuyer within nine months of completion. Principal and accrued interest will be due in full.

Eligible Costs and Disbursements of Funds

  • New Home Construction and Rehabilitation eligible costs may include but not limited to: site acquisition; loan origination fees; credit reports; title reports and updates; recordation fees; preparation and filing legal documents; appraisal; attorney fees; loan processing fees; architectural fees; engineering fees; preparation of work write-ups/cost estimates. A Certificate of Occupancy is required to release the project contingency funds. Funds will be disbursed as a percentage of the construction costs. Receipts and documentation must be provided to verify costs. Lien Waivers may be required. Construction must begin three (3) months from the date of agreement signing.

Additional Obligations for Funds

  • Relocation Review: Applicant must obtain Seller/Owner's acknowledgement of fair Market Value before closing (a Notice of Acquisition) and the Seller/Owner's Certification of No Displacement.
  • Historic Review: Clearance must be obtained from the City of Columbus Historic Review Officer. The rehabilitation must comply with Section 106 standards set by the Secretary of the Interior.
  • Environmental Review:

    HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 58.22 prohibit grant recipients and their partners from committing or spending HUD or non-HUD funds on any activity that could have an adverse environmental impact or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives prior to completion of an environmental review once a project has become “federal.” This prohibition on “choice-limiting actions” prohibits physical activity, including acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction, as well as contracting for or committing to any of these actions. The environmental review should therefore begin in the project planning’s earliest phase to maximize opportunities to improve projects’ environmental design.

  • Lead Based Paint Hazards: Work on properties that were built prior to 1978 must comply with Title X rules and regulations, as well as applicable state lead paint laws. The cost and scope of rehabilitation work determines what inspections and interventions will be required.
  • Code Inspection/Occupancy Permit: All projects must have building permits, pass a building code inspection and receive a final Certificate of Occupancy prior to final draw.

Community Consultation


Applicants are required to submit their applications to the appropriate Area Commission or Civic Neighborhood Association for disclosure and review prior to submission to the Department of Development. For assistance identifying the appropriate organization, click here.


For your Neighborhood Liaison contact information and area map,  click here. There may be several civic or neighborhood associations to meet with. Be advised that the Area Commission process can take 2-3 months.


Eligible Home Buyers

Households with annual gross income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) adjusted for household size as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Homebuyers may be eligible for the  American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) Program if they are a first time homebuyer and meet program guidelines. Total household income is used when calculating annual gross income.

  • Qualifying Ratios: Total household expenses (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) must not exceed 35 percent of the monthly household income and total monthly debt service must not exceed 45 percent of the monthly household income. Fixed rate financing only.
  • Homebuyers purchasing a home assisted with HDP funds must receive Homebuyer Education provided by a city of Columbus Certified Homebuyer Education Agency which includes:
    • Face to face counseling before the purchase of the property;
    • Assisting first-time homebuyers in identifying the most suitable and affordable properties;
    • Providing homebuyers with financial management assistance;
    • Assisting homebuyers in understanding mortgage transactions and home sales contracts;
    • Assisting homebuyers with eliminating and credit problems that may prevent them from purchasing the property; and,
    • Home maintenance training.
    • Click here for a list of city of Columbus Certified Homebuyer Education Agencies.

A certification of completion of the Homebuyer Education Program must be submitted to the city of Columbus prior to closing and expires one year from the date the course was completed.

Click here to download the 2022 Program Income Limits- Effective June 15th 2022

NOTE: Total yearly household income includes the income of all adults 18 years of age and older living in the home; Family size includes all persons living in the home.

  • Income Qualified Homebuyer Forgivable Loans
    • Maximum Homebuyer Affordability Gap Loan Limits: up to $20,000 out of the available $60,000 in gap financing. The loan amount will also consist of any additional City assistance to acquire the property such as downpayment assistance from the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI).
    • Term: 5 years for loans less than $15,000; 10 years for loans $15,000 to $40,000; 15 years for loans of more than $40,000
    • Interest Rate: Zero percent (0%) per annum
    • Repayment is not required if:
      • The initial homeowner remains an owner/occupant of the property for the term of the loan (affordability period); and,
      • The initial homeowner executes at closing, a non-amortizing, non-recourse, non-interest bearing Promissory Note (Note), Loan Agreement, Mortgage, and Restrictive Covenant (for affordability). The outstanding Principal balance of the Note remains the same as the amount stated at the time of closing until the end of the affordability/loan period.
    • Repayment is required if:
      • The initial homeowner, prior to the end of the affordability/loan period as defined by the Note, sells the property. The outstanding principal balance will be due in full at the time of the sale; or the initial homeowner ceases to occupy the property as an owner/occupant. The outstanding Principal balance will be due in full once the original homeowner/recipient of HOME assistance ceases to occupy the residence.
      • If at the point of sale, the net proceeds from the sale are not sufficient to repay the loan, the net proceeds will be divided proportionally based on the amount of HOME investment and the homeowner investment. However, the homebuyer is permitted to recover their entire investment (downpayment and capital improvements made by the owner since the purchase) before the city receives its portion of the HOME investment.

City Reservation of Rights

The City of Columbus reserves the right to waive the provisions of these guidelines within the limits of the Federal HOME, CDBG, City and State regulations in order to advance its mission and the goals of the Consolidated Plan. Such waiver shall not be construed as a general set-aside of the provisions and is at the sole discretion of the Director of the Department of Development.

These guidelines outline the basic funding requirements of this program and are not meant to be all-inclusive. The funds for this program are limited. As such, they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.