DC Open Doors Makes Homeownership in the District Achievable (2020)

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Updated September 23, 2020

In an effort to promote and make homeownership and Washington DC real estate more affordable, the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), has created a down payment assistance program called DC Open Doors.

The DC Open Doors program offers down payment assistance loans (also referred to as a DPAL) for Washington, DC residents.

DC Open Doors Eligibility

In order to qualify for DC Open Doors, you must meet the minimum eligibility below:

Buyer Eligibility

  • Open to both first-time and repeat homebuyers buying Washington, DC
  • Open to all neighborhoods and wards in Washington, DC
  • Open to both residents and non-residents of DC

Program Requirements

  • Minimum credit score of 640
  • Maximum income of $151,200 
  • Income is based on BORROWER’s income ONLY (not household)
  • Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 50% (max DTI for FHA loan is 45%)
  • $510,400 maximum 1st trust loan 
  • No maximum sales price limit
DC Open Doors

Property Qualifications

There are simple property qualifications for the DC Open Doors Program.

The residence must be located in Washington, DC and be eligible for insurance under FHA or conventional guidelines as a principle residence. (Don’t worry we will you with identifying an eligible property.)

You can purchase a home in any neighborhood, area, or Ward of Washington, DC using DC Open Doors. 

Eligible Property Types

  • Single Family Detached
  • Single Family Attached (town house/row house)
  • Condominiums
  • 2-4 Units

Note: Coops do not qualify.

Keep in mind that DC Open Doors can only assist applicants on homes within the District of Columbia.

Downpayment Assistance Loan

The DC Open Doors DPAL is available to all homebuyers that qualify under the DC Open Doors Program through a Participating Lender. Eligible borrowers may borrow up to 3% of the purchase price for conventional Loans or 3.50% of the purchase price for FHA Loans.

This zero payment loan is not due until one of the following:

  • Thirty (30) years from the date of loan closing
  • Sale or any transfer (by gift or otherwise) of the property to another person, business, or entity
  • Property ceases to be your principal residence
  • Refinancing your first trust mortgage

DC Open Doors participating lenders will help you determine how much of a down payment you will need.

Loan Highlights – FHA

Updated September 9 2020

Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and issued by an FHA-approved lender.

Mortgage Loan ProductFHA w/ Down Payment AssistanceFHA w/out Down Payment
LTV (Loan To Value) 96.5%96.5%
Down Payment Assistance*3.50% Subordinate LoanNone
DCHFA RequirementsMaximum borrower income of $151,200Maximum borrower income of $151,200
Minimum Credit Score640640
Maximum Debt to Income45%45%
Maximum 1st Trust Loan$510,400$510,400
Pre-purchase Homebuyer EducationNot RequiredNot Required
Additional Product RequirementsAll FHA underwriting requirements
All FHA underwriting requirements
*DCHFA’s down payment assistance is a 0%, non-amortizing, subordinate loan due upon sale, refinance or the borrower no longer occupying the property as a primary residence within the 1st five years.

Loan Highlights – Conventional

Updated September 9, 2020

HFA Preferred HFA Advantage (Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac)

Mortgage Loan ProductHFA Preferred

HFA Advantage w/ Down Payment Assistance
HFA Preferred

HFA Advantage w/out Down Payment
LTV (Loan To Value) 97%97%
Down Payment Assistance*3.00% Subordinate LoanNone
DCHFA RequirementsMaximum borrower income of $151,200Maximum borrower income of $151,200
Minimum Credit Score640640
Maximum Debt to Income50%50%
Maximum 1st Trust Loan$765,600$765,600
Pre-purchase Homebuyer EducationRequired for 1st time homebuyersRequired for 1st time homebuyers

Get More Info

For more information on the DC Open Doors Program, please complete the form below or get a jumpstart with the DC Open Doors Buyer Questionnaire.

DC Open Doors, Dana Ash-McGinty

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About Dana Ash-McGinty 179 Articles
Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC based internal medicine physician. They are often referred to as "The Danas".