Gov. Ron Desantis launches Hometown Heroes program

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference after announcing a $20 million dollar program to create cybersecurity opportunities through the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference after announcing a $20 million dollar program to create cybersecurity opportunities through the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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UPDATED 11:30 AM PT – Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Florida Governor Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) launched his new Hometown Heroes initiative. In a press conference on Monday, Desantis announced the new program which will help first responders, teachers and medical workers become homeowners.

“What we’re going to be doing today is announcing we are launching a hometown heroes initiative in the state of Florida to help these folks achieve homeownership,” said Desantis. “This is a hundred-million dollar program that will provide down payment and closing cost assistance to more than 50 different professions when buying their first home.”

The program is administered by the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation. It is geared to expanding on Florida’s existing housing programs to reach critical workers and those who have served our country. Prior to this initiative, Desantis signed a bill offering a five-thousand dollar bonus for anyone who chooses to become a police officer.

He says the program will be the most inclusive income eligibility program in the state and would allow applicants to take out a small mortgage loan. The governor then went on to announce that a portion of the state’s budget will be dedicated to creating more affordable workforce housing.

“So they come here, any of our folks that are already here, people come and get the five-thousand dollar bonus,” he stated. “Then your able to apply to be a home buyer. Five-percent or up to 25-thousand dollars of mortgage loan amount, you can get support from. This will be the highest most inclusive income eligibility of any of Florida’s housing down payment assistance programs that we’ve ever had. We’re also going to be approving a total of 360-million in workforce housing in this year’s budget.”

In order to qualify for this program homebuyers must connect with a participating loan officer, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, have a minimum credit score of 640 and meet the income threshold for their county.

The housing program is set to begin later this year in July, but eligible Florida citizens can submit an application one month in advance.

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