Our experts answer readers’ home buying questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess mortgages). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are his own.
- Oregon Housing and Community Services issues funds to local organizations for loans and grants.
- Oregon has a state home buyer program specifically for military veterans.
- You may need to meet certain income limit requirements to qualify for some programs.
First-time home buyers who are struggling to navigate the home buying process in Oregon may want to get help from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OCHS) or the Oregon Department of Veterans (ODVA).
These state agencies offer financial assistance and resources that can make a difference in buying your first home.
Below, we explain the different programs and the requirements needed to apply, so you can determine which one is right for you.
OHCS fee assistance
If you need help paying off your mortgage, OHCS has a down payment assistance program that provides funds for loans and grants to cover borrowers’ fees and closing costs.
The program is unique from other states because it does not directly offer down payment assistance. Instead, it gives money to local organizations across the state.
The following organizations offer loans and grants that you should consider:
- Access: You can apply for down payment assistance if you are a first-time home buyer with a low to moderate income in Jackson or Places called Josephine County in the United States. Note that you must attend a homebuyer education course before applying and go to a counseling session.
- Northeast Oregon Community Connection: You may qualify for an Individual Development Account (IDA) if you are a first-time home buyer Harney or Malheur County is a county who meet the income and net worth limits. For every $1 you deposit into this account for your home purchase, CCNO provides a $3 match.
- Community in Action: First time home buyer in Malheur County is a county are eligible for down payment assistance in the form of a grant if they meet income limits.
- DevNW: You can get a 0% interest loan to help pay off your mortgage if you are a first time home buyer in Marion County or Springfield is a city.
- Hacienda Community Development: This is a corporation that offers several different opportunities to receive partial or full down payment and closing cost assistance. Pre-purchase counseling and financial assistance are also available to first-time home buyers in the Clackamas, Multnomahor Washington County.
- NeighborWorks Umpqua: If you are a first time home buyer Coos, Curry, Douglasor Places called Josephine County in the United States who meet income limits, you can use the Dream$avers IDA Program to save for home ownership and get a $5 match for every $1 you save.
- Portland Housing Center: The organization offers loans and grants, but you should speak with a Portland Housing Center Home Purchase Specialist to find out if you qualify for one of their programs.
OCHS Oregon Loan Residential Program
The Oregon Bond Residential Loan Program helps first-time home buyers in Oregon get a loan with a competitive interest rate. The program offers two types of loans: a Cash Advantage loan and a Rate Advantage Loan.
With a Cash Advantage loan, you apply for a loan through an approved lender and get 3% of your loan in cash. Cash Advantage funds cannot be used toward a down payment on FHA mortgages, but they can be used toward closing costs.
Rate Advantage loans offer a more competitive interest rate than Cash Advantage loans. It does not offer any financial aid, however.
To qualify for a Cash Advantage loan or Rate Advantage loan, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your home is below the purchase price limit for your county (check if the home you plan to buy is in a target or non-target area)
- You must have an income below the maximum Oregon household income limit for your county (see if the home you plan to buy is in a targeted or non-targeted area)
How to determine if your home meets the purchase price limit for your county
Below you will find the purchase price limit non-target areas and target areas on April 8, 2022, according to OHCS.
How to determine if your income is below the maximum household income limit in Oregon
Below you will find the household income requirements to qualify for all non-target area counties on May 4, 2022, according to OHCS.
Below you will find the household income requirements to qualify for all target area provinces on May 6, 2022, according to Oregon Housing and Community Services.
How to apply for the Oregon Bond Residential Program
If you know you may qualify for the Oregon Bond Residential Program, apply for a loan through a select lender. Use this tool to contact a loan officer in a nearby county.
If English is not your native language, some loan officers speak other languages, such as Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Hmong, or American Sign Language.
ODVA Home Loan Program
The ODVA Home Loan Program is open to veterans planning to purchase a home, condo, or townhome in Oregon. The program offers 15-year, 20-year, and 30-year conventional loans.
This can be a good option if you can lock in a low interest rate with a select lender that is better than you can get with a VA loan. You also don’t have to be a first-time home buyer or meet the income requirement to be part of the program.
To be eligible for this program, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You served in the US Armed Forces for more than 90 days before January 31, 1955
- You served in the US Armed Forces for more than 178 days after January 31, 1955
- You served in the US Armed Forces for less than 178 days OR at least one day in a combat zone and were honorably discharged
- You have earned a medal or distinguished distinction for your service
When you apply for the ODVA Home Loan Program, you must provide service records, including your DD214.
Apply here to see if you qualify for the program.