DeSantis visits Cape Coral, announces Hometown Heroes Program for first-time homebuyers

Published: May 23, 2022 8:05 AM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2022 5:25 PM EDT

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the new Hometown Heroes Program while in Cape Coral Monday. It’s a program aimed at providing workers in certain professions with first-time homebuyers assistance.

DeSantis announced the program which is benefitting those in more than 50 professions. The program, launching June 1, will be available to law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans.

Including this $100 million program, the Governor also announced his intent to support the total of nearly $363 million appropriated for affordable and workforce housing in the 2022-2023 budget.

The program is administered by the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation. The program is geared to expanding on Florida’s existing housing programs to “reach critical workers and those who have served our country.” Find more about the program here.

The governor invited Cape Coral Police Officer Ashton Wolf to the news conference.

Ashton said, “So I started recently looking for you know, buying a house in possibly the worst time recently.” Officer Wolf can make a crowd laugh but he has now experienced the housing market and the cost of living inflation.

The median price for a new home in Lee County is 499,999 according to realtor.com.

That number is $875,000 in Collier County.

Wolf is just starting his career at age 23.

Cape Coral teacher Melba Lugo is looking forward to retirement, saying, “He is 23 and I’m 63. So at this age, you’re supposed to be paying off your loan, your mortgage.”

Instead, Melba just got a loan. “I want to thank all these people that have made this possible. Owning a house seemed like a such a distant faraway dream for me.”

Her dream’s coming true and yours can too, but first, you must apply.

And that process begins on June 1.

To qualify for this program, homebuyers must connect with a participating loan officer, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, and meet the income threshold for their county. Eligible borrowers will receive up to 5% of the first mortgage loan amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.

Click here to see a list of eligible occupations.

Click here to see income and purchase limits.

Watch again in the player below or click here.